This excerpt taken from the ACI 10-K filed Mar 1, 2010.
Competition within our industry and with producers of competing energy sources may materially and adversely affect our ability to sell coal at favorable prices.
We compete with numerous other coal producers in various regions of the United States for domestic sales. International demand for U.S. coal also affects competition within our industry. The demand for U.S. coal exports depends upon a number of factors outside our control, including the overall demand for electricity in foreign markets, currency exchange rates, ocean freight rates, port and shipping capacity, the demand for foreign-priced steel, both in foreign markets and in the U.S. market, general economic conditions in foreign countries, technological developments and environmental and other governmental regulations. Foreign demand for Central Appalachian coal has increased in recent periods. If foreign demand for U.S. coal were to decline, this decline could cause competition among coal producers for the sale of coal in the United States to intensify, potentially resulting in significant downward pressure on domestic coal prices.
In addition to competing with other coal producers, we compete generally with producers of other fuels, such as natural gas and oil. In recent periods, prices for competing fuels have been volatile. A decline in the
price for these fuels could cause demand for coal to decrease and adversely affect the price of our coal. If alternative energy sources, such as wind or solar, become more cost-competitive on an overall basis, including capital expenditures and conversion, storage and transmission costs, demand for coal could decrease and the price of coal could be materially and adversely affected.