The WV Coal Seam

By T.L. HEADLEY, MBA, MA, BA

For The West Virginia Coal Association

According to the latest report from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), coal production in the United States rose by 1.3 million tons for the week ending December 20, compared to the same time last year. Production for the week stood at 19.8 million tons compared to 18.5 million tons in 2013.  Year-to-date, production was also up slightly, to 964.4 million tons from 957.6 million tons in 2013.

This increase was reflected in the number of rail car loadings, which saw an increase of 7.1 percent for the week over the same period last year. Rail car loadings were also up 0.7 percent year-to-date.

Metallurgical coal exports through the end of October (the most recent data available) surged by 5.4 percent from a year ago to stand at 5.7 million tons. Steam coal, however, continued its slide through October, down 49.5 percent from a year…

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