U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Short-Term Energy Outlook
Coal production for 2013 totaled an estimated 996 million short tons (MMst), 21 MMst (2%) lower than in 2012. It is the first time in 20 years that annual coal production was below 1 billion short tons. Coal production has fallen by nearly 100 MMst since 2011, with nearly identical declines in the Appalachian and Western coal regions. Coal production in the Interior region, which includes the Illinois Basin, increased by about 14 MMst over the same time.
U.S. Coal Supply
EIA projects coal production will grow 3.9% to 1,035 MMst in 2014 as inventories stabilize and consumption increases. Coal production is projected to fall 1.5% in 2015 to 1,019 MMst.
U.S. Coal Consumption
EIA estimates total coal consumption for 2013 to be 920 MMst, a 3.5% increase over 2012. The increase was primarily a result of increased consumption in the electric power sector due to higher natural gas prices. Projected consumption grows 4.1% to 958 MMst in 2014 as electricity demand grows and natural gas prices continue to rise. Total coal consumption is projected to decline by 2.1% in 2015, as retirements of coal power plants rise in response to the implementation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards,
U.S. Coal Exports
EIA estimates that exports for 2013 totaled 118 MMst, about 8 MMst lower than 2012. Exports are projected to total 106 MMst in 2014 and 105 MMst in 2015. Continuing economic weakness in Europe (the largest regional importer of U.S. coal), slowing Asian demand growth, increasing coal output in other coal-exporting countries, and falling international coal prices are the primary reasons for the expected decline in U.S. coal exports. However, a supply disruption in Colombia could provide a temporary boost to U.S. exports. Columbian steam coal exports are expected to drop by about a third after a new law, which took effect on January 1, only allows coal exporters to load ships using enclosed conveyor belts and prohibits the use of cranes and barges. Upgraded loading facilities are currently slated for completion in March.
U.S. Coal Prices
Nominal annual average coal prices to the electric power industry fell for the second consecutive year, from $2.38/MMBtu in 2012 to $2.35/MMBtu in 2013. EIA forecasts average delivered coal prices of $2.36/MMBtu in 2014 and $2.37/MMBtu in 2015.
|U.S. Coal Summary|
|2012||2013||2014 projected||2015 projected|
|Prices||(dollars per million Btu)|
|Electric Power Sector||2.38||2.35||2.36||2.37|
|Supply||(million short tons)|
|U.S. Coal Production||1016.4||995.8||1034.9||1019.4|
|Consumption||(million short tons)|
|Electric Power Sector||823.6||855.0||889.8||869.2|
|End of Period Inventories||(million short tons)|
|Electric Power Sector||185.1||148.2||145.0||142.9|
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