West Virginia coal production decreased from last week by -6.65%. Production from the NAPP region of the state decreased by -5.3% and CAPP production declined by -8.2%. National coal production decreased by -9.35%. Production from the entire Appalachian region declined by -10.05% from the previous week. Production from the entire NAPP thermal region declined by -10.43% and implied national met production decreased by -9.43%.
Year to date, West Virginia coal production is off by -24% from 2020. -5.20% in the NAPP region of the state and -22.4% in the CAPP region of state. National coal production is down by -11.8% from the same time in 2020. Coal production from the entire NAPP thermal region is down by -15.6% and implied national met production is off by -17.55% from the same time last year.
EIA reported spot prices for U.S. thermal coal were unchanged from the previous week. Average natural gas prices increased by +33.22%
Domestic iron and steel production increased week over week by +2.2% and furnace capacity utilization increased by +2.26%.
U.S. electrical generation increased from the previous week +5.15%, with output from the coal regions increasing by +5.18%. Output in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions decreased by -1.3% (driven by a -3.58% decrease in the Southeast region). Generation in the Central Industrial region increased by +6.21%
Total U.S. rail traffic decreased by -3%, its third straight week of decline (traffic is up +4% from the same time in 2020). Coal traffic declined week over week by -9.28%, finished steel and steel raw material carloads declined by -3.05% from the previous week (but is up 1% from the same time in 2020). Auto parts and finished auto traffic declined by -7% week over week.
The U.S. Commerce Dept. recently released U.S. coal export data for December 2020. Exports of metallurgical coal increased from November by +2.76. Average met coal export pricing increased by +0.80% (+$0.79). For the full year, U.S. overseas metallurgical coal exports were down -24.6% from 2020. U.S. thermal coal exports declined in December by -14.5%. Average thermal coal export prices declined by almost -4% from November (-$2.36). Compared to 2019, U.S. thermal coal exports were down by -29% in 2021.