Jun 20 2013
U.S. Coal Exports Gain Momentum (Australian Journal of Mining)
US thermal coal exports gain momentum
US thermal coal exports continue to develop as a threat to Australia’s beleaguered miners, on the back of growing Asian demand.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that growth in the Asian market saw the US top its monthly coal export record in March, hitting 13.6m short tons, 0.9m tons above the previous monthly export peak from June 2012.
“Increased Asian demand for coal contributed to the record level of coal exports from the United States in March. Of the record export tonnage, 6.3 million short tons were steam coal and 7.4 million short tons were metallurgical coal,” an EIA report stated.
The EIA expects the US will ship over 100m tons for the third year in a row in 2013, following annual exports in 2011 of 107.3m tons and record annual exports in 2012 of 125.7m short tons.
The lack of export capacity from US’ west coast, the country’s largest thermal coal producing region, is a significant hurdle for the industry.
However, the EIA reports that Seattle customs district has seen rapid growth over the past several years exporting steam coal via rail to Canada, where it is then shipped to Asia.
Last week, AJM reported that US thermal coal producers are seeking new markets as a result of the shale gas boom drying up domestic demand for their product.
The Governor of Wyoming, the US’ leading coal producing state and home of the Powder River Basin, recently visited a Canadian coal port in an effort to open export routes for his region’s miners.
See article here.