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Houston β€” US coal production totaled an estimated 14.3 million st in the week ended April 7, down 2.9% from the prior week and up 6.3% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.

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Production was down across all the regions with the highest drop seen in the Illinois Basin, a drop of 102,000 st from last week. This the lowest productions estimate since production peaked for the year on February 3 at 15.9 million st.

S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates utility stockpiles for the week ended April 4 at 113.77 million st, up 1.2% from the week prior but down 31.2% compared to 2017.

Based on EIA estimates through the first 14 weeks of the year, annualized US coal production in 2018 would total 768.2 million st, a slight drop of 0.3% from 2017.

For the recently concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily consists of coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 6.4 million st, down 1.4% compared with last week but up 11.6% from the year-ago week.

On an annualized basis, coal production in Wyoming and Montana would total 344.6 million st, down 2.5% from 2017.

In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.9 million st, down 0.8% from last week but up 7.4% from last year. Annualized 2018 production would total 97 million st, up 8.3% from 2017.

In Northern Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.9 million st, down 4.7% from last week but slightly up by 0.3% from the year-ago week. Annualized production would total 104.2 million st, flat from 2017.

In the Illinois Basin, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.9 million st, down 5.1% from last week but up 0.3% from last year. Annualized production would total 104.7 million st, up 1.2% from 2017.

--Veda Chowdhury,

--Edited by Richard Rubin,