Houston — Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 16.7 million st in the week ended August 26, down 1.7% from the prior week but up 9.6% from the year-ago week, Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.
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It was the third highest weekly estimate this year, just below last week's year-to-date high of 17.02 million st.
Coal production continues to trend higher as natural gas prices hover near $3/MMBtu and utility stockpiles continue to decline.
For the recently-concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily consists of coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 8 million st, down 0.1% compared with last week but up 6% from the year-ago week. It was the highest weekly estimate reported so far this year.
On an annualized basis, coal production in Wyoming and Montana would total 351.6 million st, up 6.6% from last year.
In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.62 million st, down 3.6% from last week but up 13.5% from last year. Annualized 2017 production would total 83.6 million st, up 9.3% from last year.
In Northern Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2.37 million st, down 2.7% from last week but up 15.6% from the year-ago week. Annualized production would total 114.2 million st, up 12.1% from last year.
In the Illinois Basin, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2.06 million st, down 3.9% from last week but up 10.4% from last year. Annualized production would total 107.1 million st, up 8.8% from 2016.
Based on the most recent EIA estimates and first quarter revisions, US coal production in 2017 on an annualized basis would total 786.8 million st, up 8% from last year.
--Andrew Moore, email@example.com
--Edited by Derek Sands, firstname.lastname@example.org