Total U.S. coal stockpiles had a small month-over-month decrease of 0.5%, reaching 129 million tons in September 2020. This August to September fall in total U.S. coal stockpiles follows the normal seasonal pattern, as coal stockpiles decrease during the summer months so that coal-fired generators can meet the summer demand for electricity.
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 125 days of forward-looking days of burn in August 2020 to 116 days of burn in September 2020. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn increased slightly, going from 104 days of burn in August 2020 to 105 days of burn in September 2020.
|September 2020||September 2019||August 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.