Coal stocks heating up, Dennis Gartman says

Coal is hot—or soon will be, commodities trader Dennis Gartman said Monday.

"It might not be ultimate, but it's certainly one of the penultimate contrarian views," he said.

On CNBC's "Fast Money," the editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter recalled a previous bullish call on aluminum, which he said elicited laughter from some investors.

Dennis Gartman
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Dennis Gartman

"And now you see that aluminum shares have been one of the leaders on the S&P for the past 10 months," he said. "I feel the same way about coal."

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Gartman argued that coal was simply too big to ignore, being used to generate an estimated 40 percent of electricity needs in the United States and worldwide.

"If you look at that sort of thing and think that you're going to expect or going to get continued global economic growth— and I think that you are—then one of the cheapest entities out there has to be coal," he said.

Without naming specific stocks, Gartman noted that many coal stocks were off 90 percent from their highs "and over the course of the last 10 months have built what looks to be reasonably good bases."

Gartman acknowledged that the trade carried risk and suggested hedging bets.

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"It is a long-term leap on continued economic growth," he said. "Buy four or five of them. Two of them probably will go out of business. Two of them will probably double or triple, and one of them may be a 10-bagger after all the smoke clears. That's probably what will end up happening."

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter @Bruno_J_Navarro.