U.S. coal exports to fall sharply in 2018, 2019: STEO

Coal exports through the first 10 months of 2017 were 70% higher than in the same period in 2016, and the 78 million short tons (MMst) exported through October is 18 MMst (29%) more than coal exports for all of 2016.

Total coal exports for 2017 were 95 MMst, with steam coal exports at 41 MMst, the Energy Information Administration states in the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

EIA/STEO expects metallurgical coal exports will be more than 50 MMst in both 2018 and 2019, but steam exports will decline by 34% in 2018, and 15% in 2019, Kallanish Energy reports.

Total coal exports are expected to be 80 MMst in 2018 and 75 MMst in 2019, according to STEO. Atlantic and Gulf Coast electric power generators are forecast to generally maintain their current levels of coal imports, which are primarily from Latin America.

Total U.S. imports are estimated at 8 MMst in 2017, and are projected at 9 MMst in both 2018 and 2019.

EIA estimates the delivered coal price averaged $2.10 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2017, which was 1 cent/MMBtu lower than the 2016 price. Coal prices are forecast to increase to $2.21/MMBtu in 2018, and to remain flat in 2019.

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