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Hampton Roads coal exports in June show recovery year over year

Coalexports from the Hampton Roads facilities in Virginia totaled roughly 2.1million tons in June, according to data obtained July 11 from the VirginiaMaritime Association, surging 24.8% compared to and a 9.6% improvementyear over year.

Coalexports from Norfolk SouthernCorp.'s Lamberts Point facility, which primarily handlesmetallurgical coal, totaled 882,797 tons in June, a 16.7% increase from theroughly 756,235 tons delivered in June 2015.

's Pier IX facility, which mostly handles thermal coal, exported635,861 tons, up from 528,239 tons in June 2015, a recovery of 20.4%.

Onthe other hand, coal exports from the Dominion Terminal Associates facility, owned by coalproducers Alpha Natural ResourcesInc., Arch CoalInc. and PeabodyEnergy Corp., slipped 7% to 623,749 tons in June, compared to670,696 tons of June 2015.

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Accordingto the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. coal production in Juneshowed a 13% increase compared to the previous month but was 14% behind whereit was in the same period of the prior year. Output is expected to largelycontract by over 100 million tons for the second consecutive year, with aprojected annual decline of 168 million tons or a 19% cutback, which couldbring about the largestdecline in terms of both tons and percentage since data collectionbegan in 1949.

Therecent decline in U.S. coal exports is attributed to deteriorating global coaldemand and slump in coal prices. Total U.S. coal exports are expected toplummet by 20% in 2016 and 7% in 2017, the agency stated in its latest"Short-Term Energy Outlook."

TheEIA said forecast coal prices are $2.19/MMBtu and $2.24/MMBtu in 2016 and 2017,respectively.