Total U.S. coal stockpiles had a month-over-month increase of 1.5%, reaching 154 million tons in May 2020. This April to May rise in total U.S. coal stockpiles follows the normal seasonal pattern, as coal stockpiles increase during the spring months so that they can usually be used during the summer months, when the demand for electricity is higher.
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 the previous month, going from 122 days of forward-looking days of burn in April 2020 to 120 days of burn in May 2020. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn also decreased, going from 105 days of burn in April 2020 to 104 days of burn in May 2020.
|May 2020||May 2019||April 2020|
|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|
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.