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Hampton Roads coal exports up 9.4% in November; Pier IX climbs over twofold YOY

Coal exports from the Hampton Roads facilities in Virginia reached roughly 2.0 million tons in November, according to data obtained Dec. 13 from the Virginia Maritime Association, up 16.7% compared to October's level and 9.4% year over year.

Coal exports from Norfolk Southern Corp.'s Lamberts Point facility, which primarily handles metallurgical coal, totaled 720,441 tons in November, falling 16% compared to 857,481 tons of coal delivered in November 2015.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP's Pier IX facility, which mostly handles thermal coal, exported 661,908 tons, surging 184.5% from 232,633 tons in the year-ago period.

Coal exports from the Dominion Terminal Associates facility, owned by coal producers Contura Energy, Inc., Arch Coal Inc. and Peabody Energy Corp., sank 17.7% to 574,120 tons in the featured month, compared to 697,801 tons in November 2015.

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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal production in November reached 70.7 million tons, "the third time this year monthly production exceeded 70 MMst," the agency said in its latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook."

It also projects annual coal production in 2016 to post a 15% contraction to 758 million tons, "which would be the lowest level of coal production since 1978," while 2017 will see output climb by 2%.

The EIA said forecast coal prices are $2.14/MMBtu in 2016 and $2.21/MMBtu in 2017.