Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Coal supplies at U.S. power plants fell 0.8 percent this week from last week but were 6.6 percent larger than the same week of 2008, Genscape said Tuesday. Electric companies had 153.2 million short tons of coal stockpiled compared with 154.5 million tons reported last Tuesday and 143.7 million tons the same week last year. Nationally, U.S. generators as of Tuesday had an average of 55 days' worth of typical coal burn on hand, one day less than last week, Genscape said.
As of Tuesday, they had three more days' supply than the same week last year, unchanged from the situation last week, Genscape said.
"Severe cold weather in the Midwest and Northeast drove national stockpiles more than 1 million tons lower," Genscape said. "Rail deliveries to many regions lagged last year's volume."
Deliveries to export terminals on the East Coast rebounded as winter deepened in Europe, holding down coal imports to Atlantic Coast states where stockpiles are lower than elsewhere.
Increased Powder River Basin shipments mostly went to the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions instead of the Plains and Midwest in response to cold-driven power demand.
Coal stockpiles usually grow in the spring and fall, when mild weather eases cooling or heating demand. Stockpiles shrink as winter or summer sets in across the country, boosting demand for electricity for heating or cooling.
Mathematical rounding sometimes affects the results, overstating some changes and understating others, Genscape has said.