Facts & Figures

The United States exports more coal to other countries than it imports. Between 2000 and 2010, about 5 percent of the coal produced in the United States, on average, was exported to other countries. According to the World Energy Council, more than one-fourth of the world’s economically recoverable coal reserves are in the United States – making the U.S. the largest repository of coal in the world.

In 2017, the U.S. exported 97 million short tons of coal to at least 42 countries. The U.S. exports metallurgical coal and steam coal. Metallurgical coal can be used for steel production, and steam coal can be used for electricity generation. Metallurgical coal accounted for about 53 percent of total U.S. coal exports in 2018. Steam coal accounted for 88 percent of total U.S. coal imports in 2018.

About 47 percent of U.S. coal exports in 2018 went to five countries. The top five destinations of U.S. coal exports, the amount exported (MMst=million short tons), and their percent shares of total coal exports in 2018 were:

  • India—17.19 MMst—15%
  • The Netherlands—12.36 MMst—11%
  • Japan—10.39 MMst—9%
  • South Korea—9.32 MMst—8%
  • Brazil—8.60 MMst—7%


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Fast Facts

Coal is present in 38 states and underlies nearly half a million square miles — or 13 percent of the nation’s land area.

The state with the most coal production is Wyoming, which mined approximately 316 million tons in 2017.

Of the coal mined in the United States, more than 90 percent is used to generate electricity at home and abroad.