US coal production and exports down in Q3: EIA

Washington (Platts)--2 Jan 2014 520 pm EST/2220 GMT

US coal production totaled 256.7 million st in the third quarter of 2013, up 5.6% from the second quarter but down 0.9% from the year-ago period, according to the Quarterly Coal Report issued Thursday by the US Energy Information Administration.

At the current average run rate for the first three quarters of the year, total US production in 2013 would likely be roughly 993.1 million st, according to an analysis by Platts. That annual amount would be down 2.3% from 2012 production of roughly 1,016 million st.

Among the primary coal-producing basins, production through the first three quarters compared with the same period last year was up 3.3% in the Illinois Basin, up 0.9% in Northern Appalachia, down 1.8% in the Powder River Basin and down 14.9% in Central Appalachia, according to the EIA.

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Coal exports in the third quarter totaled 28.6 million st, down 2.9% from the prior quarter and down 9.4% from 2012.

At the current average run rate, US coal exports in 2013 would likely total 119.8 million st, down 4.7% from 2012.

Thermal coal exports totaled 12.7 million st in the third quarter, down 4.8% from the prior quarter while metallurgical coal exports totaled 15.9 million st, down 1.3%, said the EIA.

The average price of thermal coal exports in the third quarter was $76.81/st, up 10.6% from the second quarter. Through the third quarter, the average price for thermal coal exports was $69.76/st, down 9.4% from the year-ago period.

Coal imports from Colombia, the largest foreign supplier of thermal coal to the US market, totaled 1.8 million st in the third quarter, down 12% from the second quarter.

For the first three quarters of the year, Colombian imports total 4.9 million st, down 4.2% from the year-ago period.

The report listed an average price of $82.41/st for Colombian coal imports in the third quarter, up 10.1% from the second quarter.

Through the first three quarters of 2013, the average price for Colombia imports was $74.41/st, down 11.7% from the same period last year.

--Andrew Moore,
--Edited by Derek Sands,

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