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US Coal Exports Plummet 42.2% on Week of Hurricane Ida



By Morgan Snook 

September 9, 2021 - Weekly US coal ship departures plummeted in the week ended Sept. 5 due to Hurricane Ida and its aftermath.

Twenty-nine coal ships carrying nearly 1.48 million dwt of coal departed the US, down 42.2% from 2.55 million dwt on 41 ships the previous week, Platts cFlow trade-flow analytics software showed Sept. 7.


The laden and part-laden ships departed the United States' major shipping zones – the Gulf, Atlantic and West Coasts – between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5, according to cFlow data. Gibraltar was set to receive the most US coal shipments, at 2.74 million dwt. Japan followed with 1.32 million dwt, and Turkey was scheduled to receive the third-most US coal shipments.

Gulf Coast

With shipments delayed by Hurricane Ida, coal ship departures from the Gulf Coast dropped 64.7% week on week. Gulf Coast coal ship departures fell to a 10-week low of six carriers. At 119,041 dwt of coal, Turkey was the top destination for US coal shipped from the Gulf Coast. Brazil followed with 63,474 dwt of Gulf Coast-shipped coal destined for its shores. Rounding out the top three was Guatemala, set to receive 37,685 dwt of coal from the US Gulf Coast.

Atlantic Coast

Similarly affected by severe weather, Atlantic Coast coal shipments decreased 30% week on week to 14 ships. Destined to receive 274,385 dwt of US coal, Gibraltar was the top destination for coal shipped from the Atlantic Coast. The United Kingdom followed, set to receive 114,890 dwt of US coal. The country importing the third-largest amount of US Atlantic Coast coal was Sweden, scheduled to receive 84,000 dwt.

West Coast

While fewer coal ships departed from the Gulf and Atlantic regions, week-on-week West Coast coal ship departures increased by 125%. In the week ended Sept. 5, nine coal carriers departed the West Coast, up from four the week before and three in the year-ago week. Set to receive 1.32 million dwt of coal, Japan was the top destination for US coal shipped from the West Coast. Chile followed with 61,338 dwt of coal headed for its shores from the US West Coast. Panama was scheduled to receive 46,500 dwt of US coal shipped from the West Coast.