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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for March 2016  |  Release Date: May 25, 2016  |  Next Release Date: June 23, 2016

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Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: March 2016

 



In March, U.S. coal stockpiles increased to 194 million tons, up nearly 3% from the previous month. The large departure from the winter draw-down in coal stocks occurred because of the extremely warm temperatures experienced throughout the country in March 2016 (and the winter as a whole) and also becaue coal continues to lose 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 decreased from 99 days of burn in February to 97 days of forward-looking days of burn in March. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn decreased, going from 105 days in February to 102 days in March. Both average number of days of burn for bituminous units and subbituminous units are still at extremely high levels.

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

  March 2016   March 2015   February 2016  
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 7,165 111   5,612 84 27.7% 7,725 113 -7.3%
  Subbituminous 171 208   732 267 -76.6% 545 303 -68.6%
South Bituminous 36,811 97   30,893 80 19.2% 34,970 99 5.3%
  Subbituminous 7,951 95   6,268 78 26.8% 7,689 99 3.4%
Midwest Bituminous 18,005 100   13,600 74 32.4% 17,391 99 3.5%
  Subbituminous 46,914 94   34,860 70 34.6% 46,504 95 0.9%
West Bituminous 4,907 76   4,951 74 -0.9% 5,313 85 -7.7%
  Subbituminous 42,090 114   32,803 91 28.3% 42,051 121 0.1%
U.S. Total Bituminous 66,888 97   55,056 78 21.5% 65,400 99 2.3%
  Subbituminous 97,126 102   74,663 79 30.1% 96,789 105 0.3%

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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