October 3, 2022 - West Virginia coal production decreased week over week by -2.1%. Production in the Northern Appalachian region of the state declined -1.4% and production in the state’s Central Appalachian region decreased by -2.9% from the previous week. Compared to the same 39 weeks of 2021, year to date statewide coal production is up +5.9%. +5.1% in the Northern Appalachian region of the state and +7.1% in the state’s Central Appalachian region.
National coal production also decreased from the previous week by -2.9%. Production in the Appalachian coal region decreased -1.9%, the Interior region -2.7% and the Western coal region by -3.3%. Year to date, U.S. coal production is up +3.8% compared to the same 39 weeks of 2021. Production in the Appalachian region is up +1.6%, Interior +2.2% and +5.4% in the Western coal region.
EIA reported spot prices for domestic thermal coal were unchanged week over week. Compared to the same week of 2021, Central Appalachian thermal coal spot prices are +179.8% higher, Northern Appalachian, +200%, Illinois Basin +442.7%, Powder River Basin, +20.9% and Western Bituminous, +40.6%. Average U.S. natural gas spot prices declined from the previous week by -19.7%. Compared to the same week last year, average U.S. natural prices are +16.5% higher.
According to data reported to the federal Surface Transportation Board by West Virginia’s two class one railroad systems, the average number of unit coal trains holding per day was unchanged from the previous week. Average coal train speed increased week over week on both systems. Coal carloadings for the entire Northern Appalachian and Central Appalachian coal regions decreased week over week by -4.7%.
Barge loadings of West Virginia coal declined from the previous week by -4.9%.
Domestic iron and steel production continued to decline, with weekly output falling -0.6% and furnace capacity utilization decreasing by the same percentage from the previous week. Compared to the same 39 weeks of 2021, year to date U.S. steel production is off -4% and cumulative furnace capacity utilization is off -1.7%.
U.S. electric generation increased from the previous week by +1%. Output in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions declined by -0.4% and generation in the Central Industrial region increased +1.2%. Year to date, U.S. electrical generation is up +3%. +1.8% in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions and +1.3% in the Central Industrial region.
Total U.S. rail traffic declined slightly week over week by -0.3%. Coal carloads decreased -2.8%, steel making and finished steel traffic declined -4% and auto making carloads decreased -5.1%. Compared to the same time in 2021, year to date U.S. rail traffic is off -2.7%. Coal carloads are up +3.5%, steelmaking traffic is off -7.4% and automaking carloads are up +1.4%.