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US Coal Output Forecast at 530 Mil st in 2020, Consumption at 394 Million st



By Oliva Kalb

June 10, 2020 - The US Energy Information Administration forecast coal production of 530 million st in 2020, down 23.2% from the estimated 2019 output of 690 million st, the Energy Information Administration's Short-Term Energy Outlook reported June 9.

The 2020 output projection rose 1.4% from the May outlook, the first month-on-month increase since the start of the year.

For 2021, the EIA projected output of about 549 million st.

Coal exports for 2020 were projected to total 63.6 million st, down 31.5% from last year's exports. The forecast also rose 0.6% month on month.

Coal exports in 2021 are projected to be 70 million st.

Power sector consumption was forecast to total 351 million st in 2020, down 35% from 2019 consumption and 4.6% below the May report. In 2021, consumption is forecast at 425 million st, down 6.5% from the previous report.

Total US consumption was forecast to be about 394 million st in 2020, down 13.2% from the previous outlook and 33% below 2019. The EIA 2021 forecast was about 469 million st, down 5.9% from May's forecast.

Compared with US coal-powered estimated generation share of 24% in 2019, the June EIA report projected coal generation share of 17% in 2020, down from 19.2% in May, and 20% in 2021, down from the previous projection of 21.3%.

Natural gas generation share for 2020 was projected to be 41%, up from 37.3% in 2019, and the highest since S&P Global Platts began tracking the data in 2013. In 2021, gas generation was projected at 36%.

The EIA forecast gas production at 89.7 Bcf/d for 2020 in June, down from 2019 production of about 92.2 Bcf/d. The 2021 projection was slightly down at 85.4 Bcf/d. Power sector consumption for 2020 was forecast to be 31.5 Bcf/d, up 1.8% from 2019 consumption, and 27.2 Bcf/d in 2021.