Coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, fell for a seventh month in August reflecting lower metallurgical and thermal prices.
Terminals at the port loaded 2.85mn short tons (2.58mn metric tonnes) of coal last month, down from 4.29mn st a year earlier, the Virginia Maritime Association said today.
The decrease keeps exports from Hampton Roads on track to end 2019 at a two-year low. On a year-to-date basis, the terminals loaded 23.4mn st of coal, down from 29.6mn st in the same period of 2018.
US exporters still are contending with weak market conditions that could suppress shipments through the rest of this year. Argus assessed high-volatile B coking coal at $126/t fob Hampton Roads yesterday, its lowest level since July 2017. High-volatile A and low-volatile coal were assessed at three-year lows of $135/t and $133/t, respectively.
Thermal coal export prices have increased in recent weeks, but remain below levels at which producers can make a profit. Argus assessed the midpoint for 6,000 kcal/kg coal out of Hampton Roads at $60.69/t fob last week.
All three Hampton Roads coal terminals handled less coal in August than they had a year earlier. Loadings at Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point dropped to an estimated 1.23mn st from 1.69mn st, the Virginia Maritime Association said.
Volumes at Contura Energy and Arch Coal’s Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) fell to 880,902st from 1.6mn st. And loadings at Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX dropped to 734,463st from 994,514st.
On a year to date basis, Lamberts Point shipments dropped to just over 10mn st from 12.3mn st, while exports out of DTA fell to 7.76mn st from 10.7mn st. Pier IX’s exports decreased to 5.65mn st from 6.58mn st.
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- On September 26, 2019