Houston — Weekly US coal production declined for the fourth straight week to an estimated 8.58 million st in the week ended April 25, down 0.5% from a week earlier and 39.4% lower than the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.
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The total for week 17 was the lowest for any week in the last 10 years and was also 37.5% lower than the five-year average.
Despite the lower production, utility stockpiles remained higher on an aggregate basis, totaling an estimated 129.8 million st, as of April 23, up roughly 22.3% from a year earlier, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.
For the latest week, estimated coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which is primarily made up of production from the Powder River Basin, totaled 3.74 million st, down 0.4% from the prior week and 37.4% lower than the year-ago week.
Since January 1, the states have produced 77.09 million st, down 19.5% from the same period in 2019. Annualized production in the two states would total 242.68 million st, down 20.8% from a year ago.
In Central Appalachia, estimated weekly coal production fell to 1.1 million st, down 3.7% from a week earlier and 42.9% lower than the year-ago week.
Year-to-date production in Central Appalachia was down 22.3% on the year at 22.72 million st, while on an annualized basis, CAPP production would total 71.38 million st, down 18.2% from a year ago.
Coal production in Northern Appalachia totaled 1.36 million st, up 3.8% from the prior week but 39.8% below the year-ago week. It was the only major region with a weekly increase.
Year-to-date production is 17.7% lower than a year ago at 28.4 million st, while annualized NAPP production would total 89.24 million st, down 13.1% from last year.
In the Illinois Basin, estimated weekly coal production was at 1.22 million st, down 1% from last week and 41% from the year-ago week. Cumulative production is at 27.26 million st, down 22.9% on the year, while annualized production in the IB basin would total 85.75 million st, down 16.8% from 2019 totals.
Through the first 17 weeks of the year, US coal production totals an estimated 182.19 million st, down 20.9% year on year, while production on an annualized basis is expected around 573.11 million st, which would be down 18.5% from last year.