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US coal exports reach two-year high in June: Census


YTD exports to China increase ninefold

Lion's share of US thermal coal exports to India

  • Author
  • Morgan Snook
  • Editor
  • Aastha Agnihotri
  • Commodity
  • Coal

The US exported a combined total of 7.11 million mt thermal and metallurgical coal in June, the highest monthly level since June 2019, according to Census Bureau data released Aug. 5.

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Thermal coal accounted for 3.25 million mt and met coal 3.86 million mt of US coal exported in June, a year on year increase of 78.7% and 65.2%, respectively.

Metallurgical coal exports rise

US metallurgical coal exports climbed to a five-month high in June at 3.86 million mt, up 14.3% on the month and 65.2% on the year. Through June, the port at Norfolk, Virginia, originated the most US met coal exports at 11.74 million mt, up 3.9% on the year. Mobile, Alabama, originated the second-highest volume of US met coal exports for the same period, 4.1 million mt, up 13.4% on the year.

From January through June, the bulk of US met coal was exported to China. US met coal volumes headed for China increased ninefold from the year-ago period to 4.42 million mt in 2021. After China, the next highest volume of US met coal was exported to Brazil at 2.84 million mt, a 2.6% decrease from the same period last year.

Thermal coal exports

In June, most US thermal coal exports originated at the port of Baltimore at 1.04 million mt, the highest level for the corresponding month in over 9.5 years. New Orleans exported 922,108 mt of thermal coal in June, a three-year high for the corresponding month.

Since the start of 2021 through June, the lion's share of US thermal coal was headed to India at 7.22 million mt, up 89.9% from the year-ago period. The second-highest volume of US thermal coal was bound for South Korea at 2.16 million mt, down 23.9% on the year.

In June, 521,833 mt of thermal coal was destined for Japan, a 9.5-year high for the corresponding month and more than triple the year-ago month.