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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for May 2020 Release Date: July 24, 2020 Next Release Date: August 25, 2020

Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: May 2020


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.

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 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.

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

    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
Northeast Bituminous 3,895 282 3,956 194 -1.5% 4,187 305 -7.0%
  Subbituminous 162 253 163 250 -1.1% 162 280 0.0%
South Bituminous 25,808 110 22,780 82 13.3% 26,021 113 -0.8%
  Subbituminous 8,398 88 5,071 50 65.6% 7,165 82 17.2%
Midwest Bituminous 14,036 112 10,114 73 38.8% 13,685 114 2.6%
  Subbituminous 31,397 122 22,352 74 40.5% 29,397 119 6.8%
West Bituminous 3,950 165 3,971 79 -0.5% 3,727 162 6.0%
  Subbituminous 29,864 94 20,685 61 44.4% 28,987 100 3.0%
U.S. Total Bituminous 47,689 120 40,821 83 16.8% 47,620 122 0.1%
  Subbituminous 69,821 104 48,271 65 44.6% 65,711 105 6.3%

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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