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October US Coal Exports Highest Since March 2014

 

 

By Jeffrey McDonald


December 7, 2017 - US coal exports totaled 8.31 million mt in October, up 3% compared with September's shipments and up 88.3% from the year-ago month, US Census Bureau data showed Tuesday.


It was also the highest monthly total since March 2014, when exports totaled 9.5 million mt.


Through October, US coal exports totaled 70.7 million mt, up 70% compared with the same period last year, and would total 84.8 million mt on an annualized basis, which would mark a 55.1% increase from the 2016 total of 54.7 million mt.


The monthly surge came largely from increased demand from thermal coal as metallurgical coal exports actually decreased from the prior month. 


October met coal exports totaled 4.2 million mt, down 14.2% compared with September but up 47.6% from the year-ago month, the Census data showed. 


September exports had been the highest monthly total since October 2014. Through the first 10 months of 2017, met coal exports totaled 40.9 million mt, up 32.3% from the same period in 2016, and would total 49.1 million mt on an annualized basis.


The top export destinations for US met coal in October were Ukraine at 531,126 mt, compared with 88,373 mt in the year-ago month; Brazil at 458,911 mt, compared with 555,318 mt last year; and Canada at 419,226 mt, compared with 357,043 mt a year earlier.


Through October, the largest market for US met coal in 2017 was Brazil at 5.2 million mt, compared with 5 million mt in the year-ago period; Japan at 3.89 million mt, compared with 2.85 million mt last year; and Canada at 2.95 million mt, compared with 2.5 million mt last year.


Bituminous coal exports in October totaled 3.4 million mt, up 41.4% from September and up 160.7% from the year-ago period. Through the first 10 months of 2017, US bituminous coal exports totaled 23 million mt, up 61.1% from the year-ago period, and would total 27.6 million mt on an annualized basis. 


The top export destinations for US bituminous coal in October were India at 892,838 mt, compared with 191,627 mt last year; the Netherlands at 568,302 mt, compared with 444,147 mt last year; and Germany at 451,693 mt, compared with 222,608 mt last year.


The largest market for US bituminous coal in the first 10 months of the year was the Netherlands at 5 million mt, compared with 3.92 million mt in the year-ago period; India at 4.75 million mt, compared with 1.73 million mt last year; and Germany at 1.87 million mt, compared with 1.45 mt last year.


US subbituminous coal exports totaled 628,918 mt in October, up 7.5% from September and up 254% from the year-ago month. For the first 10 months of the year, subbituminous coal exports totaled 6.19 million mt, up 163.5% from the year-ago period, and would total 7.4 million mt on an annualized basis.


The top importer of US subbituminous coal in October was South Korea at 313,269 mt compared with 14,601 mt last year; Mexico at 210,515 mt, compared with 161,129 mt last year; and Taiwan at 104,794 mt, compared with zero last year. 


South Korea also was 2017's largest importer of US subbituminous coal through October at 3.06 million mt, compared with 64,108 mt last year; Mexico imported the second highest volume of subbituminous coal at 1.83 million mt, compared with 1.33 million mt last year; and Morocco imported 432,616 mt, compared with zero last year.