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Houston — Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 14.9 million st in the week that ended November 18, up 0.9% from the prior week, but down 6.2% compared with the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday.

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Production has now lagged behind 2016 for eight of the last nine weeks, as weak demand, coupled with uncertainty regarding weather and natural gas prices, are encouraging utility buyers to limit deliveries.

Platts Analytics estimates utility coal stockpiles stood at 136.5 million st in the week that ended November 16, roughly 20% below year-ago levels.



For the most recently concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily consists of coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 7 million st, up 0.4% compared with last week but down 7% from the year-ago week.

On an annualized basis, 2017's coal production in Wyoming and Montana would total 356 million st, up 7.9% from last year.

In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.61 million st, up 1.3% from last week but down 0.3% from last year. Annualized 2017 production would total 88.6 million st, up 15.9% from last year.

In Northern Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2.07 million st, up 1.8% from last week, but down 3.5% from the year-ago week. Annualized production would total 110.4 million st, up 8.4% from last year.

In the Illinois Basin, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.9 million st, up 1.9% from last week but down 5.1% from last year. Annualized production would total 105.5 million st, up 7.2% from 2016.

Based on the most recent EIA estimates and first quarter revisions, US coal production in 2017 on an annualized basis would total 785.4 million st, up 7.9% from last year.

--Andrew Moore, andrew.moore@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com