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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: March 7, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Coal

  • U.S. coal production is estimated to have declined by 158 million short tons (MMst) (18%) in 2016 to 739 MMst, which would be the lowest level since 1978. EIA expects growth in coal-fired electricity generation to contribute to a 3% increase in coal production in 2017. Coal production is expect to increase by 1% in 2018.
  • Coal exports in November 2016 totaled 6.6 MMst, which was 35% higher than in October and 39% higher than coal exports in November 2015. Despite the monthly and year-over-year increases, EIA estimates that U.S. coal exports declined by 20% in 2016 to 59 MMst, the lowest level since 2009. Exports are expected to average 51 MMst in 2017 and 50 MMst in 2018.
U.S. Coal Summary
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Prices (dollars per million Btu)
Electric Power Sector 2.23 2.13 2.17 2.21
Supply (million short tons)
U.S. Coal Production 897.0 738.7 762.5 772.9
Imports 11.3 10.3 10.7 10.8
Exports 74.0 59.3 51.1 49.7
Consumption (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 738.4 677.9 691.2 695.0
Other Sectors 59.7 53.6 53.2 55.3
Total Consumption 798.1 731.5 744.4 750.3
End of Period Inventories (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 195.5 170.0 156.3 148.8
Total Inventories 238.4 212.0 197.1 191.1

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