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US coal production continues to slide

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World Coal,

US coal production was 11.5 million short t for the week ending 28 May, according to the latest weekly coal production estimate from the US Energy Information Administration, 1.3% lower than the previous week and 23.4% lower than the comparable week in 2015.

Year-to-date production remains significantly down on 2015 at 256.7 million short t – 32.2% lower that year-to-date coal production in 2015.

Despite this, weekly coal production estimates have shown a slight uptick over the past few weeks compared to the lows of early April when production hit a low of 10.2 million short t.

Appalachian production has been the hardest hit so far this year with year-to-date production down 36.7% at 62.2 million short t. Interior Region production – which includes the Illinois Basin – is down 32.2, while the Western Region total – which includes the Powder River Basin – is down 30.1%.

In terms of total volume, however, the West Region has dropped the most, falling from 209.9 million short t last year to just 156.4 million t this year.

Looking ahead and US coal production could fall by over 200 million short t this year, according to Taylor Kuykendall of SNL Global Market Intelligence.

Joy Global, a leading equipment supplier to the global mining industry, recently said it expected coal production to fall 190 million short t in the US this year, calling US coal its “most challenged end-market”.

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