U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Short-Term Energy Outlook
Electric power sector coal stocks ended March 2013 at 173 million short tons (MMst), the lowest level since December 2011. It was the fourth consecutive month that stocks declined. Inventories have fallen 6 percent (12 MMst) since the beginning of this year. Over the same period last year, electric power sector coal stocks increased by 13 percent (22 MMst).
U.S. Coal Consumption.
EIA expects total coal consumption will increase by 7.1 percent from 890 MMst in 2012 to 954 MMst in 2013 as consumption in the electric power sector rises due to higher electricity demand and higher natural gas prices. Consumption grows at a more modest pace of 1.8 percent to 970 MMst in 2014.
U.S. Coal Supply
Coal production is expected to remain relatively stable, increasing by 0.5 percent, from 1,016 MMst in 2012 to 1,021 MMst in 2013. Inventory draws, combined with an increase in coal imports, meet most of the growth in consumption in 2013. Coal production is forecast to grow by 3.2 percent in 2014 to 1,054 MMst as inventories stabilize in the face of increasing consumption.
U.S. Coal Exports
EIA expects exports to decline from 126 MMst in 2012 to 110 MMst in 2013 despite a record 13.6 MMst exported in March. Exports are projected to be 107 MMst in 2014. Continuing economic weakness in Europe (the largest regional importer of U.S. coal), slowing Asian demand growth, increasing supply in other coal-exporting countries, and falling international coal prices are the primary reasons for the expected decline in U.S. coal exports.
U.S. Coal Prices
Delivered coal prices to the electric power industry increased steadily over a 12-year period through 2012, when the delivered coal price averaged $2.40 per MMBtu. EIA forecasts average delivered coal prices of $2.36 per MMBtu in 2013 and $2.40 per MMBtu in 2014.
|U.S. Coal Summary|
|2011||2012||2013 projected||2014 projected|
|Prices||(dollars per million Btu)|
|Electric Power Sector||2.39||2.40||2.36||2.40|
|Supply||(million short tons)|
|U.S. Coal Production||1095.6||1016.4||1021.3||1053.6|
|Consumption||(million short tons)|
|Electric Power Sector||932.5||824.8||888.8||900.5|
|End of Period Inventories||(million short tons)|
|Electric Power Sector||172.4||184.9||169.9||167.6|
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