Coal exports are estimated to total 89 million st in 2017, a 48% jump from last year, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Tuesday.
For the current year, metallurgical coal exports are expected to total 53.7 million st, compared with 40.9 million mt last year, while thermal coal exports are expected to total 35.3 million st, compared with 19.3 million st last year.
The price for premium low vol met coal FOB Australia averaged $143.24 mt in 2016, compared with $184.82/mt through Tuesday of this year. For thermal coal, the average price of delivered coal into Northern Europe (CIF ARA) last year was $59.95/mt compared with $84.23/mt through Tuesday of this year.
The 2017 figure would be the highest since 2014, when 97.3 million st were shipped.
In 2018, the agency estimates coal exports to dip to 73.5 million st.
For production, the EIA estimates the US will mine 791 million st in 2017, up 8.6% from last year, but only 771 million st in 2018.
Power sector coal consumption is estimated total 672 million st this year, down 0.8% from last year, while consumption is projected to total 677 million st in 2018.
The agency estimates coal will generate 30.5% of US power in 2017, up from 30.4% last year, and will generate 30.7% in 2018. Gas generation is expected to total 31.6% in 2017, down from 33.8% last year, and 32.3% in 2018.
Coal is slated to benefit from higher gas prices in 2018. The agency estimates the spot physical price for gas at Henry Hub will average $3.24/MMBtu in 2018, up from $3.12/MMBtu this year. The price averaged $2.61/MMBtu in 2016.
Lower gas prices are driving the changes in the forecast, as the agency projects the average delivered price for power sector gas to be $3.50/MMBtu in 2017 and $3.76/MMBtu in 2018.
The agency expects total US dry gas production to average 73.5 Bcf/d in 2017, up from 72.3 Bcf/d last year, and 79.7 Bcf/d in 2018.
LNG exports from the US are expected to average 1.94 Bcf/d in 2017 and 3.03 Bcf/d in 2018, while gas exports through pipeline are expected to average 6.75 Bcf/d in 2017 and 7.32 Bcf/d in 2018.
- On December 12, 2017