Coal exports hit new monthly peak

June 19, 2013

Coal exports from the United States in March 2013 totaled 13.6 million st, nearly 900,000 st above the previous monthly export peak in June 2012. EIA is projecting a third straight year of more than 100 million st of coal exports in 2013, following annual exports in 2011 of 107.3 million st and record annual exports in 2012 of 125.7 million st.

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 st were steam coal and 7.4 million st were metallurgical coal.

Five customs districts accounted for 90 perent of the coal exported from the United States during March: Norfolk, VA; New Orleans, LA; Baltimore, MD; Mobile, AL and Houston-Galveston, TX. Each of these customs districts is located on the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico (see map below), and each has access to world-class coal loading infrastructure. A previous Today in Energy article focused on the history of coal tonnage exported from major customs districts. The top five destinations of exported coal (in descending order) during March were China, Netherlands (a large transshipment point), United Kingdom, South Korea, and Brazil.

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