Coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, rose in July from June’s nearly four-year low but still lagged year-earlier levels.
Terminals at the port loaded 2.29mn short tons (2.08mn metric tonnes) of coal for international shipment in July, according to Virginia Maritime Association estimates. That was a 48pc increase from June but still 7.2pc below July 2019.
The month-over-month gain mirrors the acceleration in metallurgical coal demand from Europe and other parts of the Atlantic basin as steel production continued to slowly recover from Covid-19-related disruptions. Global crude steel output rose to 152.7mn t in July from 148.3mn t the previous month but was down from 156.7mn t a year earlier, according to World Steel Association estimates.
Thermal coal demand also increased from previous months in the late second quarter and early third quarter. But steam coal typically is a small fraction of the coal shipped from Hampton Roads.
All three Hampton Roads coal terminals handled more export coal in July than they had in June. Loadings at Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA), which is co-owned by Contura Energy and Arch Coal, climbed to 1.13mn st from 770,589st.
Exports from DTA also topped July 2019’s 787,720st.
Loadings at Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point terminal increased on the prior month to 859,343st in July from 703,704st, but were nearly 29pc lower than they had been a year earlier.
Export dumpings at Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX followed a similar trajectory, nearly quadrupling from June to 294,872st, but holding below July 2019’s 471,312st.
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- On September 3, 2020