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Houston — US coal production totaled an estimated 15.6 million st in the week ended December 2, up 11.6% from the prior week and up 8.8% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.

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It was the largest weekly estimate in three months. Production this year topped out at an estimated 17 million st in the week ended August 19, then largely declined.

Platts Analytics estimates that utility coal stockpiles stood at 140.1 million st as of last Thursday; the five-year average for the month of November is 169.6 million st, according to EIA data.

For the recently concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily consists of coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 7.4 million st, up 12.9% compared with last week and up 8.6% from the year-ago week.

On an annualized basis, coal production in Wyoming and Montana would total 356.3 million st, up 8% from last year.

In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.69 million st, up 8.3% from last week and down 6% from last year.

Annualized 2017 production would total 88.4 million st, up 15.7% from last year.

In Northern Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2.16 million st, up 11.9% from last week and up 11.2% from the year-ago week. Annualized production would total 110.3 million st, up 8.2% from last year.

In the Illinois Basin, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 1.98 million st, up 10% from last week and up 9.2% from last year. Annualized production would total 105.2 million st, up 6.9% from 2016.

Based on the most recent EIA estimates and first-quarter revisions, US coal production in 2017 on an annualized basis would total 784.9 million st, up 7.8% from last year.

--Andrew Moore,
--Edited by Lisa Miller,