U.S. thermal coal exports highest in five years

According to data from ship-tracking firm Kpler, the United States exported more than 32.5 million metric tons of thermal coal in 2023, reported Reuters. The total volumes were the highest since 2018, and were worth more than $5 billion. 

Coal miners and trading firms have stepped up sales of U.S. coal to international buyers as domestic use of the product continues to shrink. In fact, the news agency noted that there has been a roughly 44% decline in coal use for electricity generation since 2017. Domestic coal production has dropped from around 775 million short tons that year to 436 million tons in 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Last year, a record 17% of total U.S. coal production was exported. India was by far the largest destination for U.S. coal shipments in 2023, noted Reuters, with the 11.8 million tons delivered there accounting for 36.3% of total U.S. thermal exports. Other major destinations included The Netherlands (13.4% of total), Egypt (8.5%), Morocco (6.7%) and Japan (6.0%).

Source: Reuters

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