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National Mining Association 2011 Coal Producer Survey • May 2012

National Mining Association 2011 Coal Producer Survey • May 2012


2011 COAL PRODUCER SURVEY May 2012 Compiled by: Leslie Coleman (202) 463-9780 E-mail: NATIONAL MINING ASSOCIATION 101 Constitution Avenue, NW Suite 500 East Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 463-2600

The Coal Industry In 2011 THE NATIONAL MINING ASSOCIATION 2011 COAL PRODUCER SURVEY May 2012 The U.S. coal industry in 2011 was characterized by a number of significant market factors, beginning with an overall drop in total U.S. electricity generation, coal’s largest demand sector. Preliminary Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures indicate that total generation was down 0.6 percent, as the winter of 2011 was one of the mildest on record. In addition, the U.S. economy is still not growing at pre-recession levels which limited electricity generation, since power generation in general and by all sectors are directly impacted by the rate of GDP growth. Also, coal lost market share to natural gas due to further reductions in natural gas prices, which led to natural gas-based power sources seeing more favorable dispatch economics over most bituminous coals. However, partially offsetting the lower demand in the electricity sector were very strong exports of both steam and metallurgical coal. U.S. coal exports in 2011 surged to a level unseen in several decades at 107.3 million short tons. Coal Demand Consumption/Inventories – Domestic coal consumption totaled 1,003.1 million tons in 2011, marking a decrease of 4.6 percent (48.2 million tons). As previously noted, this was primarily due to the combination of weather factors, competition from low natural gas prices and a continuing sluggish economy. The milder winter, as measured in heating-degree days (a relative measure of outdoor temperatures used as an index of energy use) finished the year 13 percent below normal nationally. Record July temperatures were not enough to offset the milder winter. Electric power sector coal consumption was down 4.8 percent to 928.6 million tons, some 46 million tons less than consumed in 2010. (More than 90 percent of U.S. coal production is used to generate electricity.) Demand for coking coal in the U.S. increased 1.6 percent in 2011, to nearly 21.4 million tons. Other industrial demand, which includes cement kilns, agricultural processing and heavy industry, along with non-utility generation, decreased 3.4 percent to 50.3 million tons, while the commercial and residential sector was down 9.9 percent to 2.8 million tons. Consumer stock inventories ended the year at 184.3 million tons, marking a 0.3 percent stock increase in 2011. The build-up in stock inventories by consuming sectors was attributed primarily to milder than expected early winter temperatures. Producer and distributor stockpiles were 41.9 million tons, down 15.9 percent from 2010. Power Sector Generation – Total coal-based power sector generation decreased 6 percent in 2011, to 1,714.9 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), while natural gas generation increased 3.2 percent to 930.6 billion kWh. Also, nuclear generation fell 2 percent due 1 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ National Mining Association - 101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Suite 500 East - Washington, DC 20001 - Phone (202) 463-2600

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