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U.S. Coal Supply and Demand: 2010 Year in Review

Release Date: June 1, 2011   |  Next Release Date: Periodically   |   full report 

Coal Stocks

Total coal stocks at the end of 2010 were 224.3 million short tons, a decrease of 8.7 million short tons from 2009 when end-of-year stocks totaled 233 million short tons. Except for 2009 when stocks were slightly higher, the 2010 stocks surpassed stocks in all years dating back to 1980. Estimated coal stocks held by producers and distributors were higher by 17.5 percent, as coal producers continued to add to their stockpiles while consumers postponed some of their receipts and deferred deliveries to a future period. Industrial users, including coke plants, held a total of 6.4 million short tons at the end of 2010, 0.7 million short tons below the level at the start of the year(see figure). 
Figure Data
Commercial and institutional users had about the same level of coal stocks at the end of 2010 (0.5 million short tons) as they had in the beginning of the year. Coal stocks in the electric power sector decreased in 2010 and ended the year at 175.2 million short tons or 7.5 percent below the 2009 level.