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US Hampton Roads coal exports hit 20-month high in November


Year-on-year coal shipments jump 24.4%

FOB Hampton Roads coal price averages all-time high

A 20-month high 2.83 million st of coal was exported from the terminals in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in November, Virginia Maritime Association data released Dec. 10 showed.

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November's coal exports were the highest since 2.88 million st in March 2020. The volume was 3.3% higher than October and 24.4% higher than the year-ago month.

FOB Hampton Roads 6,000 kcal/kg thermal coal rose to an average $128.23/mt in November, the highest price on record since the S&P Global Platts assessment began April 6, 2018. While FOB Hampton Roads export prices rose, CIF ARA and metallurgical coal prices fell from multiyear highs.

November US East Coast low-vol metallurgical coal averaged $385.46/mt, down from nine-year high $423.52/mt in October. Also bearish month-on-month, CIF ARA 6,000 kcal/kg coal averaged $155.45/mt in November, down from 14-year high $244.20/mt in October.

Cumulative exports from the terminals from January through November totaled 27.29 million st, up 11.5% from a year earlier.

The Hampton Roads region saw 29 coal carriers set sail in November, down from 35 in October but equal to the year-ago month. Total departures in 2021 through November were 361, up from 345 in the same period a year earlier.

Of the three terminals in the region, only Dominion Terminal Associates saw a monthly increase in export volume. Owned by Arch Resources and Alpha Metallurgical Resources and served by CSX, DTA coal exports were up 32.1% from 888,897 mt in October to 1.17 million mt in November.

Meanwhile, Lamberts Point in Norfolk and Pier IX in Newport News decreased month-on-month coal export volumes. Owned and served by Norfolk Southern, Lamberts Point exported 1.07 million st in November, down 12% from 19-month high 1.22 million in October. Owned and operated by Kinder Morgan and served by CSX, Pier IX exported 586,001 mt of coal in November, down from 635,120 mt in October.