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US June thermal coal exports fall 15.2% on year as CIF ARA price soars: Census


Subbituminous shipments decline 74.1%

Petcoke exports are flat on month

Met coal shipments increase amid low vol HCC bearishness

An indication of demand destruction, US steam coal exports fell 15.2% on the year in June as the CIF ARA monthly average price more than tripled to $371.02/mt, according to US Census Bureau data released Aug. 4.

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Compared with May, the CIF ARA price rose 13.2% while US thermal coal exports fell 1.3% to 2.8 million mt.

The decline in US June thermal coal exports was due to a steep reduction in subbituminous coal shipments, which fell 63.8% on the month and 74.1% on the year to 132,471 mt. Year-to-date subbituminous coal exports were 7.9% lower than the 2021 period.

Bituminous coal exports rose 8% on the month to 2.6 million mt, Census data showed. Compared with June 2021, bituminous exports were 4.2% lower. Year to date, bituminous exports were at a 5.4% deficit to 2021.

The lion's share of US thermal coal shipments were bound for India in June at 592,228 mt, up 8.2% from May. After India, Egypt was set to receive the highest volume at 349,758 mt. The third-highest volume was exported to the Netherlands at 331,900 mt, Census data showed.

Other top destinations for US thermal coal in June were South Korea at 277,152 mt; Morocco at 234,656 mt; and the Dominican Republic at 181,389 mt; Germany at 124,851 mt; and the United Kingdom at 110,214 mt.

Thermal coal accounted for about 40% of US coal exports in the latest month, while metallurgical shipments made up the remaining 60%, Census data showed.

Metallurgical coal

Met coal exports rose in June as low vol HCC FOB USEC prices fell, the latest Census data showed. About 4.1 million mt of metallurgical coal was exported in June, up 6.2% on the month and 7% on the year. Meanwhile, the low vol HCC FOB USEC price fell 21.8% on the month to $361.63/mt in June, according to the Platts assessment by S&P Global Commodity Insights. Compared with June 2021, met coal exports were 81.4% higher. Year-to-date met coal exports were 6.8% higher than the year-ago period.

Most US met coal exports were bound for India in June at 943,020 mt, up 66.1% from the previous month's volume to India. After India, China followed with 612,994 mt of US met coal shipments, rising 116.7% on the month. Brazil rounded out the top three at 355,327 mt of met coal, down 40.1% from May.

Petroleum coke

The US exported 3.3 million mt of combined calcined and fuel-grade petroleum coke in June, Census data showed. Combined exports were flat on the month but 25.4% higher than the year-ago month. Year-to-date exports were 13.9% higher than June 2021.

Fuel-grade petcoke accounted for most of the US petcoke exported in June at 3 million mt, down 2.4% on the month but 22.5% higher than the year-ago month. Year to date, fuel-grade petcoke exports were 16.8 million mt, up 13.8% from the year-ago period. India was the top destination for fuel-grade petcoke with 483,478 mt in shipments.

Calcined petcoke made up the remaining 392,568 mt of US petcoke exported in June. The volume was 23% higher than May and 52.3% higher than the year-ago month. Year-to-date calcined petcoke shipments were 14.6% higher than the same period in 2021. Canada was the top destination for US calcined petcoke in June at 47,513 mt.