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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for July 2014  |  Release Date: Sep. 25, 2014  |  Next Release Date: Oct. 24, 2014

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Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: July 2014

 



Total U.S. coal stocks decreased by 7.5 million tons compared to the previous month. This decrease in coal stocks follows the seasonal pattern where a significant decrease in coal stocks occurs between June and July as power plants consume more coal to meet increased electricity demand during the summer months. Furthermore, compared to the previous July, total U.S. coal stocks are down 21.4%. This large decrease in year-over-year stockpile levels is the result of increased coal-fired electricity generation during a long, cold winter across much of the U.S. and decreased coal deliveries due to lingering rail transportation issues. Certain coal-fired generators have been forced to deliver coal by truck and lower or completely idle output due to rail delivery problems. Record grain harvests in 2013 and 2014 and increasing shipments of petroleum products are in some cases contending with coal deliveries and have strained rail capacity on certain lines.

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. The total bituminous supply increased from 49 days the previous month to 53 days in July 2014, while the total subbituminous supply continued to decrease, going from 42 days in June 2014 to 39 days in July 2014.

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

  July 2014   July 2013   June 2014  
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 5,061 48   5,672 45 -10.8% 5,062 41 -0.0%
  Subbituminous 319 34   452 34 -29.4% 359 27 -11.1%
South Bituminous 29,092 51   45,058 84 -35.4% 30,783 48 -5.5%
  Subbituminous 4,360 38   4,825 42 -9.6% 4,631 39 -5.9%
Midwest Bituminous 13,092 51   14,923 58 -12.3% 13,596 47 -3.7%
  Subbituminous 26,895 38   37,977 55 -29.2% 29,375 40 -8.4%
West Bituminous 5,122 80   6,611 110 -22.5% 5,175 78 -1.0%
  Subbituminous 19,777 41   29,253 63 -32.4% 21,615 46 -8.5%
U.S. Total Bituminous 52,368 53   72,264 74 -27.5% 54,616 49 -4.1%
  Subbituminous 51,351 39   72,507 57 -29.2% 55,980 42 -8.3%

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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