US coal production expected to total 756.2 mil st in 2018: EIA

Houston (Platts)--12 Jun 2018 625 pm EDT/2225 GMT

The US is estimated to produce 756.2 million st of coal in 2018, up 0.7% from the previous monthly forecast of 751.2 million st and the highest since 760.4 million st was estimated in February, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

The 2018 figure would still be 2% below the 772 million st produced in 2017, while 2019 production is estimated at 738 million st because of a decrease in domestic coal consumption, the EIA said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Power-sector coal consumption is projected to total 629.2 million st in 2018 and 618.1 million st in 2019, compared with 664.7 million st in 2017.

Total consumption, including by petcoke plants and retail, is estimated at 679.5 million st in 2018 and 668.1 million st in 2019, down from 718.1 million st consumed in 2017.

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Coal is expected to make up 28.1% of US power generation and 27.9% in 2019, down from 30.1% generated from coal in 2017.

Power generation from natural gas is estimated at 34% in 2018 and 34.1% in 2019, up from 30.1% in 2017.

The increase is largely from a boost in dry natural gas production, which is projected to average 81.2 Bcf/d in 2018 and 83.8 Bcf/d in 2019, up from a 73.56 Bcf/d average in 2017.

The EIA projects the spot Henry Hub gas price to average $2.99/MMBtu this year and $3.08/MMBtu in 2019, compared with $3.10/MMBtu in 2017.

Coal exports are projected to be 92.8 million st in 2018 and 86 million st in 2019, down from 97 million st exported in 2017.

Thermal coal export volumes are estimated at 37.8 million st in 2018 and 33 million st in 2019, down from 41.7 million st in 2017.

The remaining 55 million st are expected to be metallurgical coal exports in 2018, while 2019 exports are projected at 53 million st. In 2017, the US exported 55.3 million st of met coal.

--Tyler Godwin,
--Edited by Valarie Jackson,

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