Coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, in September were slightly above year-earlier levels as one of the region’s terminals handled more coal.
An estimated 2.66mn short tons (2.41mn metric tonnes) of coal were loaded for export at Hampton Roads last month, according to the Virginia Maritime Association. That was 3.6pc more than in the same period of 2021.
Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX was the only terminal to handle more coal, with loadings there climbing to 620,725st from 426,898st in September 2021. Exports from Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) and Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point, fell to 1.05mn st and 986,797st, respectively, from 1.13mn st and 1.02mn st a year earlier.
September was the third month in a row that shipments out of DTA, which is co-owned by Alpha Metallurgical Resources and Arch Resources, were lower than year-earlier levels. And DTA is the only terminal at Hampton Roads that has posted a decline in year-to-date coal export loadings, falling to 9.5mn st from 9.8mn st in the same period of 2021.
January-September 2022 export loadings at Lamberts Point rose to just over 9mn st from 7.77mn st a year earlier, while those at Pier IX increased to 6.01mn st from 4.14mn st.
Metallurgical coal market conditions weakened during most of the third quarter of this year as steel production declined. That may have weighed on Hampton Roads’ exports in September. Coking coal accounted for 88pc of shipments out of the Norfolk, Virginia, district from January-August 2022, according to the latest US Commerce Department data.
By the first week of August, US high-volatile type A coking coal was priced at a one-year low of $255/t fob Hampton Roads, and high-volatile type B coal was at an 11-month low of $250/t.
Atlantic basin coking coal prices have since partially recovered amid tight global supply and renewed buyer interest. Argus assessed high-vol A coal at $285/t fob Hampton Roads today and high-vol B at $280/t.
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- On October 27, 2022