November Hampton Roads coal exports fall 3%; year-to date exports up 15%
Washington (Platts)--12Dec2012/607 pm EST/2307 GMT
Monthly coal exports from the three coal terminals in Virginia's Hampton
Roads port complex declined 3% in November to 3,251,476 st from 3,352,315 st
in November 2011, according to data released Wednesday by the Virginia
In the first 11 months of 2012, coal exports from the terminals are rose
14.8% to 44,463,740 st from 38,742,682 st in the same period in 2011.
The association does not comment on its export data.
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In October, the US Energy Information Administration reported US coal
exports were on track to surpass the record 113 million st exported in 1981,
though the pace has slackened in recent months due to weaker overseas demand
for both US thermal and metallurgical coal.
November exports by Dominion Terminal Associates, which operates from a
terminal in Newport News, Virginia, rose 51.8% to 1,194,489 st from 787,100
st in November 2011.
So far in 2012, the terminal has exported 13,852,042 st, compared with
9,907,867 st through the same period last year, a 40% increase.
Dominion Terminal President Rick Cole, asked about the increases, said
in an e-mail to Platts that "nothing finite" was behind the big jump.
"We've been fairly busy every month this year," wrote Cole. "We finished
last year at roughly 14 million (st) shipped and anticipate loading roughly
16 million (st) in 2012."
Cole added that the terminal operates on a month-to-month basis, loading
cargoes as scheduled by the terminal's three owners: Peabody Energy, Alpha
Natural Resources and Arch Coal.
Norfolk Southern, which owns and operates the Lambert's Point Coal
terminal in Norfolk, Virginia, which is also known as Pier 6, exported
1,163,129 st from its facility in November, compared with 1,629,859 st in
November 2011, a 28.6% decline.
Through November, coal exports from Lambert's Point totaled 16,497,046
st compared with 18,314,917 st in the same period in 2011, a 9.9% decline.
A spokesman for the company was not able to immediately comment on the
declines. However, when the company reported its third-quarter results in
October, it reported an unexpected 28% drop in coal export volumes in
September, which it attributed to the economic slowdown in Europe.
The company recently completed a four-month, $18 million upgrade to the
terminal, consisting of structural renovations to the terminal's dumper
system and its two transloaders, but the spokesman was unable to say if the
project may have affected shipments from the terminal.
Pier IX, also in Newport News, which is owned and operated by Kinder
Morgan Terminals, exported 893,857 st in November, compared with 935,356 st in
November 2011, a 4.4% decline.
In the first 11 months of the year, the terminal saw exports of
14,114,652 st, a 34.2% increase compared with 10,519,898 st in the same
period last year.
In an e-mail to Platts, Joe Hollier, a spokesman for Kinder Morgan
Terminals, attributed the year-over-year jump to "strong customer demand" but
declined to elaborate further.
--Andrew Moore, email@example.com
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, firstname.lastname@example.org