Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
The U.S. Energy Information Administration Tuesday sharply raised its forecast of U.S. coal exports next year to 24 percent more than 2009 exports, citing expectations of global economic recovery. The change in the forecast translates into 2010 U.S. exports of 81 million short tons (73.5 million metric tonnes), using EIA tonnage figures. That is near the 81.5 million tons (73.9 million tonnes) exported in the boom year of 2008.
The adjustment came in the agency's short-term forecast for June, which raised the expected 2010 jump in coal exports by 9 percentage points from the 15 percent increase forecast for next year in the previous short-term forecast for May.
The agency also increased its predictions of decline in exports this year, to 20 percent from 14 percent in the May short-term forecast. That translates into 65.2 million tons (59.1 million tonnes) for 2009.
U.S. coal exports soared by 38 percent in 2008 as a result of strong demand in a booming world economy and delivery problems in key exporting countries. But U.S. coal exports have slowed sharply this year amid the economic recession.
Spot prices for U.S. coal soared to $150 a ton last year due to strong domestic and export demand but are currently around $50, with mining companies struggling to cut production enough to stay in line with sagging demand.