Coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, inched above year-earlier levels for the first time in three months in December.
Terminals in the port district handled 2.38mn short tons (2.16mn metric tonnes) of coal for export last month, which was 0.1pc more than in December 2021, data from the Virginia Maritime Association show.
The slight increase followed two months of year-on-year declines that dragged fourth quarter shipments from Hampton Roads down to 7.56mn st from 7.96mn st a year earlier. The last time shipments for any quarter were lower than the year prior was in January-March 2021.
But exports for 2022 as a whole rose to 32.1mn st from 29.7mn st for 2021, reflecting relative strength in demand and pricing most of last year. For January through November, both thermal and metallurgical coal shipments out of the Norfolk, Virginia, census district were higher than they had been in the same period of 2021, according to the US Commerce Department. Government data for December exports is scheduled to be released on 7 February.
Norfolk Southern’s Lamberts Point terminal and Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX terminal — both of which are in Hampton Roads — handled more coal for export last year than in 2021, according to the Virginia Maritime Association. Lamberts Point loadings climbed to an estimated 11.8mn st from 10.9mn st, while Pier IX rose to 7.73mn st from 5.72mn st.
Lamberts Point and Pier IX’s loadings for December also rose, climbing to an estimated 879,824st and 546,731st, respectively, from 843,668st and 366,273st a year earlier.
But exports out of Arch Resources’ and Alpha Metallurgical Resources’ Dominion Terminal Associates fell to 956,372st in December from 1.17mn st a year earlier. For the full year 2022, they fell to 12.6mn st from 13mn st in 2021.
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- On January 31, 2023