November 8, 2022 - West Virginia coal production increased week over week by +3.2%. Production in the state’s Northern Appalachian region increased +2.4% and production from the Central Appalachian region of the state increased +4.5%. Compared to the same 44 weeks of 2021, year to date West Virginia coal production is up +6.2%. +5.1% in the state’s Northern Appalachian region and +7.6% from the Central Appalachian region of the state.
U.S. coal production also increased from the previous week by +2.9%. +3.27% from the Appalachian coal region, +4.6% from the Interior region and +2.3% from the Western coal region. Year to date, U.S. coal production is up 4.2% from the same 44 weeks of 2021. Production from the Appalachian region is up +2%, the Interior region +5.5% and +5.6% from the Western coal region.
EIA reported spot prices for U.S. thermal coal increased +3% for Northern Appalachian coal (+$5.55 / ton), and +3% for Central Appalachian coal (+$5.45 / ton) from the previous week. Pricing was unchanged week over week for Illinois basin coal. Powder River Basin coal decreased -1.7% (-$0.30 / ton) and Western Bituminous pricing decreased -0.36% (-$0.15 / ton). Compared to the same week last year, Central Appalachian domestic thermal coal spot prices are +130.4% higher, Northern Appalachian, +176.6%, Illinois Basin +370.3%, Powder River Basin +21.2% and Western Bituminous prices are +34.8% higher. Average U.S. natural gas prices decreased week over week by -3.9%. Compared to the same week in 2021, average U.S. natural gas spot prices are -10.9% lower.
According to date reported by West Virginia’s two class one railroad systems to the federal Surface Transportation Board, the average number of unit coal trains holding per day increased +17.8% (average of one additional train per day). Coal carloads from the entire Northern and Central Appalachian coal basins decreased on both systems week over week by -7.2%.
River barge loadings of West Virginia coal increased from the previous week by +4.3%.
Domestic iron and steel production declined week over week by -0.36%. Furnace capacity utilization decreased as well by -0.4%. Compared to the same 44 weeks of 2021, year to date U.S. iron and steel production is off -4.7% and cumulative furnace capacity utilization is off -2.7% from last year.
Total U.S. electric generation decreased -1.2% week over week. Generation in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions decreased slightly by -0.09% and output from the Central Industrial region decreased -2.7%. Compared to the same 44 weeks of 2021, year to date U.S. electrical generation is up +2.4%. Generation in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions is up +0.9% and output in the Central Industrial region is up +0.7%.
Total U.S. rail traffic increased week over week by +1.8%. Coal carloads increased +3%, steel making traffic increased +12.3% and automaking carloads increased +2.2%. Compared to the same time in 2021, year to date U.S. rail traffic is off -2.5%. Coal carloads are up +3.7%, steel making traffic is down -7.6% and auto making carloads are up +2.6%.