July 24, 2018 Read More →

Powder River Basin coal output down sharply in second quarter

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Total coal production declined sharply in the second quarter at some of the largest coal mines in the nation, according to early data from the U.S. Mine Health and Safety Administration.

Coal production from the Powder River Basin, the most productive coal region in the U.S., was down 9.9% in the second quarter compared to the prior quarter. Production was down by 4.0% from the year-ago quarter, according to the most recent MSHA production data.

The Powder River Basin produces thermal coal primarily extracted from large-scale surface coal mines and shipped to domestic U.S. coal-fired power plants. Producers in the region have reported that utilities continue to have high levels of inventory due to relatively low demand for power from coal-fired facilities, at the same time many of the power plants that consume U.S. thermal coal are being retired.

Peabody Energy Corp. reported that output at the North Antelope Rochelle mine, the largest coal mine in the U.S by production, was down by about 5.0 million tons, or 18.8%, in the second quarter compared to the prior quarter. The quarterly total was about 1.4 million fewer tons than the company reported producing in the same quarter in 2017.

The second-largest coal mine in the U.S., Arch Coal Inc.’s Black Thunder, reported production fell by about 1.3 million tons or 7.3% from the first quarter of 2018 to the second quarter. Second-quarter coal production was 802,656 tons greater than in the same period a year ago at Black Thunder.

Cloud Peak Energy Inc.’s total coal production from its three Powder River Basin mines was down 3.7% from 12.1 million tons in the prior quarter and down 17.8% compared to the second quarter of 2017.

More ($): Powder River Basin coal production declined 9.9% in Q2’18

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