U.S. coal exports expected to break 31-year record in 2012

U.S. coal exports in 2012 are expected to break a 31 year-long record level of almost 113 million tons. The record was set back in 1981.

Exports for the first half of 2012 reached almost 67 million tons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). If exports continue at their current pace, the U.S. will export 133 million tons in 2012, although EIA forecasts exports of 125 million tons. U.S. coal exports averaged 56 million tons per year in the decade preceding 2011.

Total U.S. coal exports, including both steam and metallurgical coal, were almost 13 million tons in June 2012, surpassing April’s record by less than one million tons and the third straight month of exports surpassing 12 million tons.

Due to the slowing global economy, EIA does not expect coal exports to continue at their current pace because of a drop in exports to China, the world’s largest coal consumer. August exports show a 2 million ton drop from June’s levels, but they are still 13 percent above August 2011 levels.

The increase in exports marks a significant reversal from the general downward trajectory of U.S. coal exports beginning in the early 1990s, which bottomed out in 2002 to just under 40 million tons, the lowest level since 1961. Coal exports in 2011 rose 171 percent from 2002, with only a brief interruption by the global recession. Export growth sped up after the recession, with consecutive post-2009 growth of more than 20 million tons per year. Current data for 2012 through August show coal exports are growing even faster and should more than double 2009 export levels, buoyed by growth in U.S. steam coal.

Increases in steam coal exports come after years of falling under met coal exports. While met coal has typically held a market share of close to 55 percent over a prolonged period, between 2009 and 2011 met coal averaged two-thirds of U.S. coal exports. However, current data through August 2012 show that steam coal exports are rebounding, growing about 50 percent in 2011 and on track to grow another 50 percent in 2012. In a near mirror image of 2010, steam exports are now driving U.S. coal export growth, accounting for 95 percent of the annualized 2012 export increase.

Read more coal energy news

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

EPA releases coal ash rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the agency will now consider coal ash on the same level as household waste as opposed to hazardous waste. Household garbage and coal ash are both listed in the solid waste category, a stretch from the hazardous waste classification.

Fuel Tech receives air pollution control contracts worth $3.6Mn

Fuel Tech Inc. has received multiple air pollution control (APC) contracts, worth approximately $3.6 million, from customers in China, Europe and the U.S.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

EIA: Coal-fired generation alive and well in the coming decade

Coal-fired power generation from existing plants will increase through 2025, this according t...

Report: Nuke dump radiation leak could have been prevented

A radiation leak that forced the indefinite closure of the federal government's only undergro...

Areva’s nuclear reactor vessel flaws may be “costly”

The French nuclear regulator says anomalies found in Areva’s nuclear reactor technology are “...

Southern Power acquires 32MW solar project from First Solar

Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary, Southern Power, has acquired controlling interest in...

Second robot completes survey of Fukushima reactor containment vessel

A second shape-shifting robot completed a survey from inside of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear...

PacifiCorp considers joining California ISO

PacifiCorp signed a memorandum of understanding to explore full participation in the Californ...

Herbert: Uranium shouldn't be in Utah before federal review

Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that he wants federal regulators to review how hazardous a ty...

Environmentalists press for bill to expand solar power

Environmentalists are urging lawmakers to back a bill they say would help more residents inve...

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Categories

Power Industry Wire News

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors

Magnum Hunter Resources Chairman and CEO to Present at IPAA OGIS New York 2015

Magnum Hunter Resources Chairman and CEO to Present at IPAA OGIS New York 2015

GEI Global Energy Corp. Explores Solar Opportunities

GEI Global Energy Corp. Explores Solar Opportunities

Envision Solar Installs Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations in San Francisco as Part of "Driving on Sunshine" Campaign

Envision Solar Installs Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations in San Francisco as Part of ...

ZBB Energy and Solar Power, Inc. (SPI) Announce Global Strategic Partnership With an Initial Supply Agreement Valued at Between $80 Million and $120 Million

ZBB Energy and Solar Power, Inc. (SPI) Announce Global Strategic Partnership With an In...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>