Coal exports out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, rose from year-earlier levels for the sixth consecutive month in May as volumes from one of the region’s three coal terminals hit an 11-month high.
Terminals at the port of Hampton Roads — one of the largest coal export ports in the US — handled an estimated 2.96mn short tons (2.69mn metric tonnes) of coal for export last month up from 2.64mn st in the same month of 2022, the Virginia Maritime Association said today. The last time volumes at the port were higher was in February, when shipments were at a four-year high of 3.07mn st.
Most of last month’s year-on-year increase and volumes came from Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA), which is co-owned by Arch Resources and Alpha Metallurgical Resources. The terminal handled 1.36mn st of coal for export, the most since June 2022 and up from 985,106st in May 2022.
Exports from Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX terminal also rose from the year prior, to 794,549st from 793,177st. That terminal’s volumes were the most since July 2022.
The increases in exports from DTA and Pier IX more than offset an 8pc drop in coal shipments from Lamberts Point. That terminal, which is owned by Norfolk Southern, loaded an estimated 806,793st of coal for export in May, compared with 876,591st a year earlier.
The year-on-year increase in exports out of Hampton Roads coincided with greater Central Appalachian coal loadings on eastern railroad CSX. The railroad loaded 5,514 railcars/week of Central Appalachian coal for domestic and export delivery in the four weeks ended on 2 June, up from 5,234 railcars/week a year earlier, data reported to the US Surface Transportation Board show. Norfolk Southern’s Central Appalachian coal train loadings were flat with the same period of 2022, holding at 4 trains/week.
Hampton Roads’ coal exports for the first five months of 2023 rose to 14.4mn st from 13.3mn st in the same period of 2022. DTA and Lamberts Point loadings climbed to 5.72mn st and 5.48mn st, respectively, from 5.26mn st and 4.68mn st in January-May 2022.
Shipments out of Pier IX slipped to 3.23mn st in January-May 2023 from 3.34mn st.
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- On June 22, 2023