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Weekly US coal production estimate highest since February: EIA

Houston (Platts)--3 Aug 2017 459 pm EDT/2059 GMT


Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 16.1 million st in the week ended July 29, up 4.4% from the prior week and up 13.1% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.

It was the fifth highest estimate so far this year, and first to top 16 million st since the week ended February 18.

The production increase comes as stockpiles continue to decline and coal consumption is higher.

Related Snapshot video:US coal prices could rally later this year if stockpiles continue declining

Platts Analytics' Bentek Energy estimates utility coal stockpiles as of last Thursday stood at 129.7 million st, which would be the lowest monthly total since September 2014.

Platts Analytics also estimated US coal consumption is up 3.2% this year compared to last year, primarily due to higher natural gas prices.

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For the recently-concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily consists of coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 7.62 million st, up 3.7% compared with last week and up 7.7% from the year-ago week. It was the highest weekly estimate reported so far this year.

On an annualized basis, coal production in Wyoming and Montana would total 345.9 million st, up 4.9% from last year.

In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.6 million st, up 4.6% from last week and up 19.7% from last year. Annualized 2017 production would total 83.5 million st, up 9.2% from last year.

In Northern Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2.3 million st, up 5.2% from last week and up 20.6% from the year-ago week. Annualized production would total 113.4 million st, up 11.3% from last year.

In the Illinois Basin, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2 million st, up 5.3% from last week and up 16.6% from last year. Annualized production would total 107.1 million st, up 8.8% from 2016.

Based on the most recent EIA estimates and first quarter revisions, US coal production in 2017 on an annualized basis would total 779.5 million st, up 7% from last year.

--Andrew Moore, andrew.moore@spglobal.com

--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com



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