US thermal coal exports in September rose from year-earlier levels, reflecting higher demand from Asia and Africa.
Roughly 4.38mn short tons (3.97mn metric tonnes) of steam coal left US export districts during September, up by 41pc from a year earlier, the US Commerce Department said today. Total US coal exports increased to about 8.75mn st from 7.28mn st, including a 4.8pc gain in metallurgical shipments.
This increase was led by a rise in exports to Asia, which has been the largest destination for US thermal coal exports since February 2023, when Indian cement makers renewed interest in coal purchases.
In September, US steam coal exports to Asia more than doubled to 2.76mn st from 1.15mn st a year earlier. India drove this gain, taking in 1.59mn st of thermal coal during the month, up from 563,649st in September 2022.
Shipments to Japan climbed to 636,030st from 277,825st in the same month last year, while shipments to South Korea increased to 459,110st from 218,164st.
US thermal coal exports to Africa also jumped year-over-year to 606,922st from 204,689st. This was primarily a result of Moroccan shipments rising to 404,209st from 84,327st in September 2022.
Shipments to Europe slipped for a second month as coal stockpiles remained elevated following lower demand for coal-fired generation. The US shipped 845,880st of thermal coal to the continent in September, down 37pc from a year earlier but up 36pc from European exports in August.
The Netherlands took 545,052st of US steam coal in September, down by 26pc from a year prior, while Germany took 148,962st, down 44pc. Additionally, the US did not ship any steam coal to the UK, compared to the 158,062st shipped in September 2022.
US thermal coal shipments to Canada, Mexico, and South American countries all declined in September from year-earlier levels as well.
In the third quarter, US steam coal exports rose to 11.3mn st, up 17pc from the same period of 2022.
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- On November 21, 2023