US coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, in November topped volumes from both one and two years earlier.
Terminals near the port handled 2.83mn short tons (2.57mn metric tonnes) of coal during November, up from 2.28mn st a year earlier and 2.76mn st in November 2019, according to Virginia Maritime Association data. Loading volumes also were the highest since 2.88mn st in March 2020.
November was the second month in a row that export loadings at Hampton Roads were higher than the same month in the prior two years. Shipments from the terminal started rising from year-earlier levels in April, reflecting economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. But production and logistics constraints limited US producers’ response to the increased demand.
Hampton Roads’ exports for all of 2021 still are likely to be below the 33.7mn st exported in 2019. Terminals loaded 27.3mn st in January-November 2021, compared with 24.5mn st in the same period of 2020 and just under 31mn st in the first 11 months of 2019.
Last month, all three terminals handled more coal than they had a year earlier. Two of the terminals — Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) and Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX — also handled more coal last month than they had in November 2019.
DTA, which is co-owned by Arch Resources and Alpha Metallurgical Resources, handled 1.17mn st of coal for export in November, compared with 836,186st a year earlier and 1.07mn st in November 2019. And shipments from Pier IX climbed to 586,001st from 438,812st in November 2020 and 503,209st in November 2019.
Exports from Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts’ Point rose to an estimated 1.07mn st from just over 1mn st in November 2020, but exports lagged 1.18mn st in November 2019.
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- On December 16, 2021