In 2018, total U.S. coal production is expected to drop by 14 million short tonnes (12.7 million tonnes) or 2% from 773 million short tonnes in 2017, which was up 45 million short tonnes or 6% from 2016, the Energy Information Administration projects in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.
Production in the country's Western Region is forecast to decrease 5 million short tonnes, and production in Appalachia is projected to decrease by 25 million short tonnes.
"The expected production decline in the Appalachian Region and the Western Region is primarily a result of the projected declines in coal exports," said the reports. "Declines in these regions are expected to be partially offset by a 15 million short tonnes increase in Interior Region production."
In 2019, total coal production is expected to decline by 18 million short tonnes or 2%, with declines in Appalachian and Western regions production again partially offset by increases in Interior production, Kallanish Energy finds.
Coal consumption in the electric power sector is estimated to have declined by 12 million short tonnes or 2% in 2017, as several coal power plants retired.
Consumption in the electric power sector is forecast to decrease by 10 million short tonnes or 1% in 2018 and by 27 million short tonnes or 4% in 2019. The decrease in power sector consumption reflects lower natural gas prices and more coal power plant retirements.
(Writing by Becky Du Editing by Tammy Yang)
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