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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for June 2015  |  Release Date: Aug. 26, 2015  |  Next Release Date: Sep. 24, 2015

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Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: June 2015

 



In June, U.S. coal stockpiles decreased to 168 million tons, down 4% from the previous month. This decrease in May-to-June coal stockpiles follows the normal seasonal pattern whereby coal stockpiles begin to decrease as the U.S. enters the summer months. Despite this decrease, coal stockpiles are still at relatively high levels due to a loss in market share to natural gas in all regions of the country.

Days of burn




The average number of days of burn held at electric power plants is a forward-looking estimate of coal supply given a power plant's current stockpile and past consumption patterns. For bituminous units largely located in the eastern United States, the average number of days of burn declined slightly from 74 days to 73 days of forward-looking days of burn estimates. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn had a much larger decrease, going from 71 days in May to 65 days in June. The percentage of bituminous and subbituminous coal-fired capacity having less than 30 days of burn increased from the previous month, going from 5.3% in May to 9.2% in June. This is a much lower percentage than last June, when almost 24% of units had less than 30 days of burn.

Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)

  June 2015   June 2014   May 2015  
Zone Coal Stocks (1000 tons) Days of Burn   Stocks (1000 tons) Days of Burn % Change of Stocks Stocks (1000 tons) Days of Burn % Change of Stocks
Northeast Bituminous 6,937 99   5,440 56 27.5% 6,638 84 4.5%
  Subbituminous 806 229   716 185 12.6% 797 242 1.1%
South Bituminous 33,584 71   29,541 56 13.7% 34,920 72 -3.8%
  Subbituminous 6,457 68   5,940 55 8.7% 7,066 75 -8.6%
Midwest Bituminous 15,836 73   11,962 50 32.4% 15,723 73 0.7%
  Subbituminous 38,557 58   29,608 42 30.2% 40,938 64 -5.8%
West Bituminous 5,594 69   6,048 63 -7.5% 6,698 74 -16.5%
  Subbituminous 32,852 74   21,123 46 55.5% 35,008 80 -6.2%
U.S. Total Bituminous 61,951 73   52,992 55 16.9% 63,980 74 -3.2%
  Subbituminous 78,673 65   57,386 45 37.1% 83,809 71 -6.1%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

NOTE: Stockpile levels shown above reflect a sample of electric power sector plants, which were used to create the days of burn statistics. These levels will not equal total electric power sector stockpile levels.

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