Coal exports from Hampton Roads, Virginia, reached their third-highest level this year in August as some rail shipments accelerated and coal sellers filled orders made earlier in 2022.
Terminals at the port loaded 2.91mn short tons (2.64mn metric tonnes) of coal last month, the Virginia Maritime Association estimates. That was 5pc lower than the 40-month high set in July but up from 2.64mn st in August 2021.
Prior to July, the last time Hampton Roads’ coal exports were higher was in February, when they reached 2.95mn st.
Trains operated by CSX railroad moved at a faster rate in August than they had a year earlier, averaging 21.7mph from 7 August-2 September 2022 compared with 20.7mph in the same period of 2021, according to data collected by the US Surface Transportation Board. Norfolk Southern (NS) trains had an average pace of 17.6mph, compared with 17.8mph a year earlier, but that was an improvement from 10 July-5 August, when NS’ average speed was 16.8mph and 7.2pc slower than it had been in the same period of 2021.
Metallurgical coal export trading activity was restrained in June, July and some of August — when market participants would have been making spot market purchases to possibly ship last month — by muted demand and economic uncertainty that weighed on prices. But some of that drop off in activity was replaced by crossover sales of high-volatile coking coal into thermal coal markets in Europe.
Two of the three Hampton Roads coal terminals loaded more coal last month than in August 2021, according to the Virginia Maritime Association. NS’ Lamberts Point terminal handled 1.13mn st, up from 808,583st a year earlier and Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX coal loadings jumped to 813,300st from 595,636st.
Coal loadings at Arch Resources’ and Alpha Metallurgical Resources’ Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) fell for the second month in a row, to 961,214st in August from 1.23mn st a year earlier.
DTA’s year-to-date loadings also declined, to 8.44mn st from 8.67mn st. But volumes at Lamberts Point and Pier IX rose, bringing Hampton Roads’ total coal export loadings from January-August up to an estimated 21.9mn st from 19.1mn st a year earlier.
View article here.
- On October 4, 2022