According to the latest information from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, coal production in the United States was down slightly for the week ending August 24 compared to the same time last year. Production for the week stood at 19.4 million tons compared to 20.1 million tons in 2013.

Coal production for the 52 weeks ending August 9 was also off by 1.7 percent, from 993 million tons in 2013 to 975 million tons this year.  The number of rail cars loaded, however, actually rose by 0.3 percent, from 3,907,444 cars loaded in 2013 to 3,918,168 cars in 2014.


Export and import numbers for coal were not reported this week. New numbers for July are expected early next month.

Electric output was down up by 2.5 percent, and steel production rose 4 percent for the week ending August 23 as compared to the same period last year.

In West Virginia, total coal production actually increased for the week ending August 23 as compared to the same period last year – rising from 2.14 million tons in 2013 to 2.20 million tons in 2014. However, West Virginia coal production for the 52 weeks ending August 23 continued to trend downward – off by approximately 2.4 million tons or 2.0 percent for the same period in 2013. A 7.1 percent decline in production in southern West Virginia more than offset a 6.7 percent increase in production in northern West Virginia.

Central Appalachian coal selling on the spot market remained unchanged from last week, selling at $56.35 a ton. Meanwhile Northern Appalachian coal also remained unchanged at $62.75 per ton. 

Natural gas spot market prices on the Henry Hub ticked up slightly to approximately $3.80 per million btu - well below its $8 per million btu peak of January and February, during the "Arctic Vortex."

Also, utilities in the northeast U.S. report, as of June 2014, their stockpiles of bituminous coal are down to approximately 41 days of burn with their stocks of sub-bituminous coal down to 27 days. This is a 29.8 percent reduction of stockpiles from June of last year for bituminous coal and 23.6 percent for sub-bituminous. Meanwhile, in the southeast, utilities are reporting stockpiles of bituminous coal at 48 days and sub-bituminous at 39 days. This is down from 77 and 44 days respectively from last year, a drop of 36.5 percent and 10 percent respectively.  Midwest utilities report a lesser reduction in their stocks, off 13 percent for bituminous and 27 percent for subbituminous.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw