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Coal

US coal production forecast to total 722 million st in 2019, down 4.3% on year: EIA

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US coal production forecast to total 722 million st in 2019, down 4.3% on year: EIA

Houston — US coal production was forecast to total 722 million st in 2019, down 4.3% from 2018 production of nearly 755 million st, US Energy Information Administration data showed Tuesday.

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In 2020, the EIA predicts production of 682 million st, down 5.6% from 2019 expectations, according to its Short-Term Energy Outlook. US coal output has not fallen below 700 million st since 1978 with 670.2 million st.

While the EIA output forecast for this year fell 7.5 million st from January's STEO, expectations for 2020 output grew by over 2 million st since January.

This year's exports were forecast to total 101 million st, down 13.3% from 2018 exports of 116.1 million st, while 2020 exports were predicted to total 93 million st, down 7.9% from the 2019 predication.

The EIA forecasts power sector consumption to total 583 million st this year and 547 million st next year, down 8.9% from 2018 and down 6.3% from 2019, respectively. Total consumption was predicted to be 636 million st in 2019 and 599 million st the year following.

Compared with US power generation of 27.7% in 2018 the EIA forecasts generation of 26% in 2019 and 24% in 2020, slightly higher than January's prediction of 25.9% and 23.7%, respectively.

While coal generation expectations fell month over month, natural gas predictions rose. The EIA forecast gas generation of 36% in 2019, up from the January forecast of 35.8%, and 37% in 2020, up 0.1%.

Gas production was predicted to be 90.2 Bcf/d in 2019, up 8.2% from 2018, while the 2020 forecast had output up 2.1% to 92.1 Bcf/d.

The EIA forecast generation consumption at 29.05 Bcf/d this year and 30.2 Bcf/d the following year, up 0.2% and 3.3%, respectively. Total consumption was predicted at 82.53 Bcf/d in 2019, up 1.1% from the year prior, and 83.56 Bcf/d in 2020, up 1.2% from the 2019 forecast.

-- Olivia Kalb, olivia.kalb@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com