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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: September 12, 2017  |  Next Release Date: October 11, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Coal

  • EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas to fall from an average of 34% in 2016 to about 31% in 2017 as a result of higher natural gas prices and increased generation from renewables and coal. Coal's forecast generation share rises from 30% last year to 31% in 2017. The projected generation shares for natural gas and coal in 2018 average 31% and 32%, respectively.
  • Coal production for August 2017 is estimated to have been 74 million short tons (MMst), 6 MMst (8%) higher than last August. August is also the first month that had production higher than 70 MMst since October 2015. Production for the first eight months of 2017 is estimated to have been 528 MMst, 64 MMst (14%) higher than production for the same period in 2016. Production is expected to increase by 8% in 2017 and by 2% in 2018.
  • Coal exports for the first six months of 2017 were 55% higher than exports over the same period last year. EIA expects growth in coal exports to slow in the coming months, with exports for all of 2017 forecast at 73 MMst, 21% higher than the 2016 level.
U.S. Coal Summary
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Prices (dollars per million Btu)
Electric Power Sector 2.23 2.11 2.15 2.19
Supply (million short tons)
U.S. Coal Production 897.0 728.2 789.0 807.9
Imports 11.3 9.8 9.2 9.4
Exports 74.0 60.3 73.1 66.8
Consumption (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 738.4 677.3 683.7 708.0
Other Sectors 59.7 52.3 51.8 52.6
Total Consumption 798.1 729.6 735.5 760.6
End of Period Inventories (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 195.5 163.9 151.8 149.8
Total Inventories 238.4 203.3 189.2 188.5

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