Coal production in the United States was up 10.2 percent for the week ending October 4th from the same week last year, according to weekly figures released by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA). Production for the week was up slightly less than two million tons to 18.5 million tons, from 16.8 million tons for the same week in 2013. Production for the previous 52 weeks, however, remains down, off by 1.3 percent or almost 12 million tons, compared to the same period last year, to stand at 977.1 million tons.

West Virginia coal production fell for the 52 weeks ending October 4th by 2.6 percent compared to the same period last year – to stand at 111.6 million tons versus 114.7 million tons in 2013. Coal production in northern West Virginia for the same period was up significantly from 2013– by 8 percent – to stand at 45.8 million tons, up 3.4 million tons from the same period in 2013. Meanwhile, coal production in the southern West Virginia coalfields was off for the 52 weeks by approximately 6.4 million tons from 2013, to 65.8 million tons for in 2014 versus 72.2 million in 2013 – off 8.9 percent.
The updated numbers for the exports and imports of coal were not provided in this week’s report.
Electric output was down by 0.8 percent for the week ending October 4th compared to the same week in 2013. The greatest increase in electric demand was seen in the Pacific Southwest, with a 3.9 percent increase. Steel production was down 1.4 percent for the week from the same period year last year. Steel production is considered a leading economic indicator, which signals a decrease in demand for construction and durable goods. This marks the second straight week of declines in steel production.
Central Appalachian coal ticked upward in price on the spot market for to $56.30/ton versus $54.59/ton last week, up by almost $2/ton. Meanwhile Northern Appalachian coal was selling for $66.55/ton, up from $63.30/ton last week, an increase of slightly less than $3/ton from last week. Natural gas prices on the Henry Hub also ticked upward to approximately $4.15/mmbtu as much of the country began to feel the first days of cool fall weather. This price remains well below its $8 per million btu peak of January and February.
Utilities did not update their stockpile data for this week.