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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: October 11, 2017  |  Next Release Date: November 7, 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 34% in 2016 to about 31% in 2017 as a result of higher natural gas prices and increased electricity generation from renewables and coal. In 2018, natural gas's generation share is expected to rise to 32%. Coal's forecast generation share rises from 30% last year to 31% in 2017 and is expected to stay at that level in 2018.
  • U.S. coal production for September 2017 was an estimated 66 million short tons (MMst), up 1 MMst (1%) from September 2016. Coal production for the first nine months of 2017 was 591 MMst, 62 MMst (12%) higher than in the same period in 2016. Coal production is expected to increase by 8% in 2017 and by less than 1% in 2018.
  • Coal exports for the first seven months of 2017 totaled 51 MMst, which was 62% higher than in the same period of 2016. EIA expects growth in coal exports to slow, with exports for all of 2017 forecast at 75 MMst, 15 MMst (24%) 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 2.14 2.20
Supply (million short tons)
U.S. Coal Production 897.0 728.2 785.0 787.8
Imports 11.3 9.8 9.1 9.4
Exports 74.0 60.3 74.8 64.4
Consumption (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 738.4 677.3 680.9 691.6
Other Sectors 59.7 52.5 52.0 50.5
Total Consumption 798.1 729.8 732.7 742.1
End of Period Inventories (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 195.5 163.9 147.6 146.5
Total Inventories 238.4 203.3 184.5 184.7

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