US coal exports from Hampton Roads, Virginia, climbed by 23pc in March on the year amid strong international demand.
Terminals at the port handled 2.89mn short tons (2.62mn metric tonnes) last month, compared with 2.35mn st in March 2021, data from the Virginia Maritime Association show.
But exports slipped month-over-month from February’s 2.95mn st, which was the busiest month since March 2019, when 3.26mn st were exported.
Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA), which is co-owned by Arch Resources and Alpha Metallurgical Resources, last month loaded 1.02mn st, up compared with 980,880st in March 2021. And loadings at Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point and Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX terminal climbed to 1.2mn st and 665,760st, respectively, from 722,660st and 648,710st in the year-earlier month.
International coal buyers have been eagerly seeking US coal amid a global shortage. The EU’s decision to ban Russian coal has only deepened the shortfall.
US coal remains competitive in the export market even though export prices have slipped from March 2022 peaks. Coal prices remain well above where they were at the start of the year.
The Argus’ daily high-volatile A and high-volatile B metallurgical coal prices at Hampton Roads on 20 April were assessed at $465/metric tonne fob and $435/t fob. Those coals are up more than $100/t from the start of the year, though they have slipped from March peaks of $510/t and $460/t, respectively.
International steam coal prices have moved in a similar direction.
Argus’ daily NAR 6,000 kcal/kg cif Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) coal price was assessed on 20 April at $352.56/t, down from a high of $416.75 set on 9 March. But that coal price remains up from the $132.06 price assessed on 4 January.
DTA handled 3.24mn st of coal in the first quarter, up from 2.93mn st a year earlier. Volumes at Lamberts Point terminal rose to an estimated 2.96mn st from 2.4mn st a year earlier. And loadings at Pier IX increased to 1.93mn st from 1.15mn st in first quarter 2021.
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- On April 26, 2022