By Tyler Godwin
December 1, 2018 - Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 20-week low of 13.92 million st in the week that ended November 24, down 4.6% from a week earlier and also down 1.9% compared with the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.
It was the third time in the last eight weeks that all four basins saw week-on-week decreases.
The total for Week 45 was 19.2% lower than the five-year average of 17.22 million st for the corresponding week.
Utility stockpiles remain low on an aggregate basis, totaling an estimated 118 million st as of November 15, down roughly 17% from a year earlier, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.
For the latest week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which is primarily made up of production from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 6.32 million st, down 5.4% from last week and 1.6% from the year-ago week.
On an annualized basis, production in the two states so far in 2018 would total 338.93 million st, down 3.6% from a year ago.
In the Illinois Basin, estimated weekly coal production was at 1.48 million st, down 3.8% from last week and 1.7% from the year-ago week. Annualized production in the basin would total 104.29 million st, up 0.7% from 2017.
The two western basins both saw 20-week lows, while production in the Appalachian regions were both at 11-week lows.
In Central Appalachia, estimated weekly coal production totaled 1.8 million st, down 3.7% from a week earlier but up 7.4% from the year-ago week. It was the only major basin to see a year-on-year increase.
On an annualized basis, CAPP production would now total 96.93 million st, up 5.8% year on year.
Weekly coal production in Northern Appalachia totaled 1.88 million st, down 5.2% from the prior week and 4.6% lower than the year-ago week. On an annualized basis, NAPP production would total 103.01 million st, down 1.9% from last year.
Through the first 47 weeks of the year, US coal production totaled an estimated 678.86 million st, down 2.8% year on year, while production on an annualized basis is expected to be around 751.71 million st, down 2.9% from last year.