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Coal deliveries to US power plants fall to 555 million st in 2019: EIA

Highlights

December deliveries at 44.44 million st

Annual subbituminous deliveries fall 7.8%

Houston — Coal deliveries to US power plants fell to 555.02 million st in 2019, down 6.7% from 594.68 million st delivered a year earlier, according to US Energy Information Administration data released late Friday.

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Over 44.44 million st of coal was delivered to power plants in December, up 0.1% from November and down 16.1% from the year-ago month.

Contract deliveries, or purchases with a term of one year or longer, were at 483.51 million st in 2019, down from 519.85 million st in 2018.

Spot purchases, or contract deliveries less than one year, were at 68.34 million st in 2019, down from 72.43 million st a year earlier.

However, new contract purchases made up 2.77 million st, up from 2 million st in 2018. The majority of the new contract coal, or 1.56 million st, came from Wyoming in the Powder River Basin, while 1.01 million st of bituminous coal was delivered from seven states, led by 556,999 st from West Virginia. The remaining 192,484 st was lignite coal from Texas and 12,787 st of waste coal from Pennsylvania.

In 2018, 771,839 st of the 2 million st of new contract deliveries was lignite coal, while 681,937 st was bituminous and 545,139 st was subbituminous coal.

Imports to US power plants totaled 3.45 million st in 2019, up from 3.01 million st delivered in 2018.

The majority of the coal imports came from Colombia at 2.79 million st, which was up from 2.11 million st in 2018. Alabama took delivery of 1.79 million st of the Colombian coal, while Florida, Maine and New Hampshire took 211,357 st, 62,360 st and 45,084 st, respectively.

A Hawaii coal plant took 665,423 st of Indonesian coal in 2019, down from 847,200 st in 2018. The US power sector did not take delivery of any Russian coal in 2019, after a New Hampshire plant imported 48,502 st in 2018.

Over 25.01 million st of the deliveries in December were subbituminous coal, which was down from 25.38 million st in November and 30.09 million st in the year-ago month.

Subbituminous coal deliveries in 2019 were at 306.15 million st, down 7.8% from 332.03 million st in 2018.

Bituminous deliveries climb 3.4% on month, fall 15.9% on year

Bituminous coal deliveries to US power plants fell to 15.19 million st in December, up 3.4% from November but down 15.9% from the year-ago month.

In 2019, bituminous coal deliveries totaled 197.94 million st, down from 205.14 million st delivered a year earlier.

For the third straight year, Duke Energy Indiana was the largest operator of bituminous coal in 2019, taking delivery of 9.89 million st, down from 11.76 million st in 2018.

Contract bituminous purchases were at 174.95 million st in 2019, down from 181.3 million st a year earlier, while spot bituminous coal purchases fell to 21.98 million st, from 23.16 million st in 2018.