Coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, fell for the second time in three months in November, data from the Virginia Maritime Association show.
Terminals at the port handled a little under 3.11mn short tons (2.82mn metric tonnes) last month, compared with 3.37mn st a year earlier.
The association did not explain why shipments had decreased. Weather was not an issue, as it had been in September, when Hurricane Florence disrupted transportation and forced a temporary shutdown at the port.
Metallurgical coal supply has been understood to be tight, limiting producers’ and shippers’ opportunities to take advantage of steady pricing and demand. Prompt three-month shipments of high-volatile type A coking coal rose to $216.50/metric tonne fob Hampton Roads in the middle of November from $205/t a month earlier. Low-volatile coal was in the $199.50-$205/t range during that time period.
Thermal coal export prices fell throughout November, but have a more limited affect on Hampton Roads shipments. Roughly 85pc of coal shipped out of Norfolk, Virginia, which includes Hampton Roads, is metallurgical, according to US Census Bureau data. The Virginia Maritime Association does not differentiate loadings by coal type.
Coal dumpings at all three Hampton Roads terminals were lower in November than they had been a year earlier. Exports out of Dominion Terminal Associates — which is co-owned by Arch Coal and Contura Energy — fell to 1.27mn st from 1.37mn st a year earlier.
Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point coal loadings slipped to 16-month low of 1.18mn st from 1.26mn st, while Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX handled 661,206st, down from 748,250st.
Exports still were on track for a five-year high, totaling 39.5mn st from January through November. It was 32.4mn st in the first 11 months of 2017.
Shipments at all three terminals were higher on a year-to-date basis than they had been a year earlier.
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- On December 11, 2018