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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: March 6, 2018  |  Next Release Date: April 10, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures


  • EIA forecasts coal production to decline by almost 5% to 736 million short tons (MMst) in 2018 and then increase by 1% to 745 MMst in 2019. Lower expected global demand for U.S. coal exports (down 17% in 2018 and another 5% in 2019) and lower forecasts of coal use in the electric power sector (down 5% in 2018) contribute to the forecast of lower coal production.
  • U.S. coal exports were 97 MMst in 2017, a 61% increase from the previous year, but they are expected to decrease in both 2018 and 2019. Exports of metallurgical coal, which are used in the steelmaking process, remain at 55 MMst in 2018 and decline to 54 MMst in 2019. Steam coal exports, which were an estimated 42 MMst in 2017, are expected to decline to 26 MMst and 23 MMst in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
U.S. Coal Summary
Prices (dollars per million Btu)
Electric Power Sector
Supply (million short tons)
U.S. Coal Production 728.4772.3736.3744.6
Exports 60.397.080.676.9
Consumption (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 678.6664.7629.3633.2
Other Sectors 52.553.453.250.8
Total Consumption 731.1718.1682.5684.0
End of Period Inventories (million short tons)
Electric Power Sector 162.0137.2127.2126.8
Total Inventories 193.0165.8152.1154.7

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