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US coal production continues to rally

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World Coal,

US weekly coal production reached its highest level this year at 13.7 million short t, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly production estimate for the week ending 25 June.

The previous high of 13.6 million short t had come at the end of January. It also marks the second week in a row that coal production has been over the 13 million t mark.

Despite this, production was still down 11.9% year on year - but with year-to-date production down 28.2%, it marks a continued strengthening in US coal production since the lows of the first quarter.

The Interior Region – which includes the Illinois Basin – continues to perform the better of the EIA’s three reporting regions, with year-to-date production down just 22.6% and just 11.3% for the week ending 25 June.

Western Region production – which includes the Powder River Basin – is down 28.7% year-to-date at 174.3 million short t, but was only down 9.3% for the week ending 25 June. Meanwhile, Appalachian production is 31% down year-to-date at 114.2 million short t.

Overall, US year-to-date coal production stands at 316.6 million short t compared to 441.0 million short t over the same period last year. This would put annual production around 633.2 million short t, although there is some hope that coal demand will pick up towards the back end of the year as utilities work through their stockpiles and the winter heating season begins.

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