November 14, 2022 - West Virginia coal production increased slightly from the previous week by +0.3%.
Production from the Northern Appalachian region of the state increased +0.1% and production in the state’s Central Appalachian region increased +0.5%. Compared to the same 41 weeks of 2021, year to date statewide coal production is up +5.9%. +5% in the state’s Northern Appalachian region and +7.1% in the Central Appalachian region of the state.
U.S. coal production decreased week over week by -1.8%. -0.4% in the Appalachian and Interior coal regions and -2.9% in the Western coal region. Year to date, U.S. coal production is up +3.8% compared to the same time last year. +1.7% in the Appalachian region, +2.2% in the Interior region and +5.2% in the Western coal region.
EIA reported spot prices for domestic thermal coal were unchanged for all the coal regions week over week. Compared to the same week in 2021, Central Appalachian pricing is +178% higher, Northern Appalachia +191%, Illinois Basin +442%, Powder River Basin +22.6% and Western Bituminous +41% higher. Average natural gas prices increased week over week +15.9%. Compared the same week last year, average U.S. natural gas prices are up +8.7%.
According to data reported by West Virginia’s two Class One railroads to the federal Surface Transportation Board, weekly average unit coal train speed increased on both systems. The average number of unit coal trains holding per day decreased week over week by -11%. Coal carloads on both systems in the entire Northern and Central Appalachian coal regions decreased week over week by -3.9%.
River barge loadings of West Virginia coal decreased from the previous week by -1.6%.
Domestic iron and steel production declined week over week by -1.1%. Furnace capacity utilization declined -2.3% from the previous week. Year to date, compared to the same 41 weeks of 2021, domestic iron and steel production is off -4.4%. Cumulative furnace capacity utilization is down -2.2%.
Total U.S. electric generation declined -1.5% from the previous week. Generation in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions increased +1.4% week over week. Output in the Central Industrial region increased slightly +0.2%. Year to date, U.S. electric generation is up 2.6%. +1.2% in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions and +0.8% in the Central Industrial region.
U.S. rail traffic declined slightly week over week by -0.2%. Coal carloads decreased -2.7%, steelmaking traffic declined -2.2% and automaking carloads decreased -4.6%. Compared to the same 41 weeks of 2021, year to date total U.S. rail traffic is off -2.7%. Coal carloads are up +3.4%, steelmaking traffic is -7.4% and automaking carloads are up +1.8%.