Weekly US coal production dips as demand remains light

Houston (Platts)--9 Nov 2017 709 pm EST/009 GMT

Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 15 million st in the week that ended November 4, up 3.9% from the prior week but down 6.9% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.

Production now has lagged behind 2016 for six of the last seven weeks, as anecdotal reports indicate many utilities either are oversupplied or comfortable with their stockpiles given low power demand and competition from wind and renewables.

For the recently concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily comprises coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 7 million st, up 3.2% compared with last week, but down 8.1% from the year-ago week.

On an annualized basis, coal production in Wyoming and Montana would total 355.7 million st, up 7.8% from last year.

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In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.66 million st, up 6.7% from last week and 1.9% from last year. Annualized 2017 production would total 88.9 million st, up 16.2% from last year.

In Northern Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2.06 million st, up 2.6% from last week, but down 5.1% from the year-ago week. Annualized production would total 110.6 million st, up 8.6% from last year.

In the Illinois Basin, weekly coal output totaled an estimated 1.92 million st, up 4.3% from last week but down 5.3% from last year. Annualized production would total 105.8 million st, up 7.5% from 2016.

Based on the most recent EIA estimates and first-quarter revisions, US coal production in 2017 on an annualized basis would total 786 million st, up 7.9% from a year ago.

--Andrew Moore,

--Edited by Valarie Jackson,

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