U.S. coal exports totaled 8.18 million mt in February, up 2.9% from January and up 30.6% from the year-ago month, US Census Bureau data showed Thursday.
The slight gain in monthly volumes from January occurred despite a drop in thermal coal volumes, which totaled 3.3 million mt in February, down 12.1% from January but up 17.8% from the year-ago month.
Thermal coal export volumes dropped as the price for S&P Global Platts CIF ARA assessment for delivered thermal coal into Northern Europe (basis 6,000 kcal/kg NAR, loading 15-60 days), averaged $83.96/mt, down from $95.02/mt in the prior month.
Top destinations for thermal coal in February were India at 573,033 mt, up from 236,126 mt in the year-ago month; South Korea at 453,489 mt, up from 307,981 mt in the year-ago month; and Egypt, which took delivery of 331,872 mt in February, up from zero tons in February 2017.
The largest drop in volumes could be seen in the Netherlands, which took delivery of only 226,003 mt during the month, down from 946,415 mt in the year-ago month.
Met Coal Volumes Up 16.6%
Export growth could be attributed entirely to the rise of metallurgical coal exports, which comprised 59% of total US exports during the month, up from 52% in January.
Met coal exports totaled 4.8 million mt during the month, up 16.6% over the prior month and up 41.2% from the year-ago month.
FOB US East Coast low vol metallurgical coal (loading 14-45 days) averaged $196.08/mt, up from $194.14/mt in January.
By port, thermal coal exports in February were highest from New Orleans at 1.2 million mt, compared with 812,657 mt last year, while exports from Baltimore totaled 538,877 mt, down from 778,246 mt in February 2017.
Met coal exports were highest from the port of Norfolk, which shipped 2.8 million mt in February, up from 1.9 million mt in the year-ago month, while exports from Baltimore totaled 1 million mt, up from 833,194 mt in February 2017.
- On April 9, 2018