The Illinois basin coal producer now expects to ship at least 8.5mn st (7.7mn metric tonnes) internationally this year, up from its previous projection of 6.5mn st.
Foresight also increased the low end of its sales guidance for the year, targeting between 22mn-22.8mn st, up from 21.5mn-22.8mn st it forecast in May.
The brighter outlook followed stronger export sales during the second quarter, which totaled to 2.1mn st. Total thermal coal sales rose to 5.9mn st from 4.8mn st in the same period of 2017.
“Foresight remains well positioned to continue capitalizing on the strong export market for our product,” chief executive Robert Moore said.
Export demand has “acted to pull a considerable amount of volume out of the domestic thermal market,” Moore said. “We believe that the export market will continue to provide an economical outlet for a significant portion of our production in 2019 as fundamentals across the globe remain favorable for thermal coal with high Btu content.”
The company has about 7.7mn st of coal committed and priced to sell in the export market this year and a program to ship up to 9mn st when including tonnage where prices will be set once product is at the export terminal.
Foresight’s second quarter sales increased even as production dipped by 241,000st to 5.4mn st. The company attributed the decline to two longwall moves at the Sugar Camp mine during the quarter.
Those two moves were the last longwall moves the company has scheduled in 2018.
Foresight produced 11.1mn st of coal during the first half of 2018, up by 159,000st from the same period last year. Sales in the first half of 2018 also were 11.1mn st, a 1mn st increase from January-June 2017.
The cost of coal produced during the second quarter was $23.70/st, up from $21.88/st for the second quarter 2017. The company also reported an increase of $30.7mn in transportation costs because of the higher percentage of sales going to the export market.
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- On August 6, 2018