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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for January 2019  |  Release Date: March 26, 2019  |  Next Release Date: April 24, 2019

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Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: January 2019



In January 2019, U.S. coal stockpiles decreased from the previous month, down to 99 million tons. Total U.S. coal stockpiles are now at historically low levels due to coal plant retirements that have occurred over the past several years and also because of the seasonal draw-down of coal that usually takes place over the winter months when there is a greater demand for electricity generation.

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 increased from the previous month, going from 82 days of forward-looking days of burn in December 2018 to 85 days of burn in January 2019. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn also increased, albeit slightly, going from 89 days of burn in December 2018 to 90 days of burn in January 2019.

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

  January 2019   January 2018   December 2018  
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 2,973 147   3,314 85 -10.3% 3,408 132 -12.8%
  Subbituminous 121 275   62 26 96.2% 116 225 3.7%
South Bituminous 17,114 88   21,701 88 -21.1% 19,364 83 -11.6%
  Subbituminous 3,972 59   4,676 61 -15.0% 4,570 57 -13.1%
Midwest Bituminous 6,955 61   11,259 81 -38.2% 8,373 64 -16.9%
  Subbituminous 21,420 100   34,154 117 -37.3% 28,020 109 -23.6%
West Bituminous 3,585 98   4,943 127 -27.5% 3,706 87 -3.3%
  Subbituminous 18,659 90   25,660 111 -27.3% 18,440 74 1.2%
U.S. Total Bituminous 30,628 85   41,218 90 -25.7% 34,852 82 -12.1%
  Subbituminous 44,172 90   64,551 108 -31.6% 51,146 89 -13.6%

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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