Total U.S. coal stockpiles had a month-over-month decrease of 2.5%, reaching 133 million tons in December 2020. This November to December decrease in total U.S. coal stockpiles follows the normal seasonal pattern, as coal stockpiles decrease in the colder months as coal-fired generators meet the winter 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 increased from the previous month, going from 140 days of forward-looking days of burn in November 2020 to 145 days of burn in December 2020. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn also increased, going from 114 days of burn in November 2020 to 125 days of burn in December 2020.
|December 2020||December 2019||November 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.