U.S. Coal Exports Increase (Real Clear Energy)
US Coal Exports Surge Again
It hasn’t taken long for US coal exports to bounce back to historically high levels. The original peak occurred in the early 1900s when exports to Europe were particularly high. Europe has always been our biggest export market with Canada, Brazil and Japan following generally in that order. But the category of “other” nations is also growing and accounts for much of the recent spurt.
The above graph, based on data from the Energy Information Administration, illustrates the pattern of coal exports over the last 20 years. Europe is at the bottom of the graph in blue. Then comes Canada (red), Brazil (yellow), Japan (purple) and “other” (green).
Exports actually peaked at 110,000 short tons in 1991 and then fell rapidly. They revived somewhat in the late 1990s but remained low for most of the first decade of the 21st century. They revived in 2008. Then fell again in 2009. The latest revival seems to have occurred for two reasons:
1) Demand has revived in Europe. This is largely due to Germany’s determination to give up on nuclear energy. This has led to a revival of coal burning, with several new plants under construction. Other countries are also looking for an alternative to Russian natural gas.
2) The growth of other markets, mainly China and India. Both countries’ economies are growing by leaps and bounds while relying heavily on coal. China has just passed the US as the world’s largest coal burner and India will probably move into second place in the next few years. Both are now importing from the United States.
See article here.