November 1, 2022 - West Virginia coal production increased in both regions of the state week over week. Statewide production increased +3.4% week over week, production in the state’s Northern Appalachian region increased +4% and production in the Central Appalachian region of the state increased +2.7%. Compared to the same 43 weeks of 2021, year to date state coal production is up +6.1%. +5.1% in the Northern Appalachian region of the state and +7.4% in the state’s Central Appalachian region.
U.S. coal production also increased from the previous week by +2.7%. +3.4% in the Appalachian region, +2.2% in the Interior coal region and +2.6% in the Western coal region. Year to date, U.S. coal production is up +4.1% compared to the same 43 weeks of 2021. +2% in the Appalachian region, +2.6% in the Interior region and +5.6% in the Western coal region.
EIA reported spot prices for domestic thermal coal were unchanged from the previous week. Compared to the same week in 2021, spot prices for Central Appalachian coal are +133.9% higher. Northern Appalachian coal, +179.9%, Illinois Basin +414.4%, Powder River Basin +33.8% and Western Bituminous +39.6%. Average U.S. spot natural gas prices decreased week over week by -10.2%. Compared to the same week last year, average U.S. natural gas prices are +13.1% higher.
According to data reported by West Virginia’s two class one railroad systems to the federal Surface Transportation Board, the average number of unit coal trains holding per day on both systems decreased -26% from the previous week (two trains per day). Coal carloads on both systems increased +13.2% week over week although actual vs. planned carloads were off -5.2% for the week.
River barge loadings of West Virginia coal increased from the previous week by +3.7%.
Domestic iron and steel production declined week over week by -1.1% with furnace capacity utilization also falling by -1.1%. Compared to the same 43 weeks of 2021, total U.S. iron and steel production is off -4.6% and cumulative furnace capacity utilization is down -2.4%.
Total U.S. electric generation decreased slightly from the previous week by -0.6%. Generation in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions increased slightly week over week by +0.2%. Output in the Central Industrial region increased +4.7% week over week. Compared to the same time in 2021, total U.S. electric generation is up +2.4%. Output in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions is up +1% and generation in the Central Industrial region is up +0.7%.
Total U.S. rail traffic increased by 1% week over week. Coal carloads increased +2.9%, steelmaking traffic decreased -6.3% and automaking carloads decreased by -1.1%. Year to date, U.S. rail traffic is off -2.6% from the same 43 weeks of 2021. Coal carloads are up +3.7%, steelmaking traffic is down -7.5% and automaking carloads are up +2.2%.