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April coal deliveries to US power plants fall to over 13-year low: EIA

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Over 30.02 million st delivered in April

Contract deliveries fall 14.3% on month, spot down 6.6%

Houston — Coal deliveries to US power plants fell to over a 13-year low of 30.02 million st in April, down 13.5% from 34.71 million st delivered in March and 32.9% lower than 44.77 million st in the year-ago month, according to US Energy Information Administration data released June 30.

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The shipments in April were also down 36.1% from the five-year average for the month.

Subbituminous coal deliveries were at 16.48 million st in April, down from 18.89 million st in March and 24.38 million st in the year-ago month.

Bituminous coal deliveries to US power plants also fell to 9.86 million st, down from 12.14 million st in the previous month and 16.88 million st a year earlier.

Subbituminous coal deliveries through the first four months of 2020 were at 80.71 million st, while bituminous deliveries were at 47.81 million st, compared with 97.68 million st and 68.44 million st, respectively, in the first four months of 2019.

Average delivery costs for bituminous coal to regulated plants fell to $54.76/st in April, from $55.50/st in March and $59.06/st in the year-ago month, according to the data. Subbituminous delivery costs to regulated plants declined to $30.97/st, down from $31.09/st in March and $32.20/st in April 2019.

The remaining deliveries in April were 3.39 million st of lignite and 293,021 st of waste coal, compared with 3.44 million st and 248,944 st, respectively, in March, and 3.19 million st and 316,727 st in the year-ago month.

Imports to US power plants climbed to 187,208 st in April, up from 130,160 st in March, but down from 279,804 st in April 2019.

Contract, spot deliveries fall to 13-year low

Contract deliveries, or purchases with a term of one year or longer, fell to over a 13-year low of 27.09 million st in April, down 14.3% from 31.59 million st in March and 39.79 million st in April 2019.

Spot coal purchases, or contract deliveries less than one year, were also at a 13-year low of 2.9 million st, down 6.6% from 3.1 million st in March and 4.82 million st in the year-ago month.

No new contract purchases were made in April, similarly to March, but down from 141,542 st in April 2019.

Rail deliveries fell to 20.22 million st in April, down from 22.85 million st in March and 31.62 million st in the year-ago month, while barge deliveries declined to 3.34 million st, down from 4.77 million st in March and 5.71 million st a year ago.

Deliveries by truck also dropped to 3.25 million st, from 3.7 million st in March and 4.1 million st in April 2019, while 3.09 million st was moved by conveyor, down from 3.33 million st in March and 3.24 million st in the year-ago month.