The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast coal production to decrease 10.6% year on year to about 674 million short tons in 2019, the agency's Short-Term Energy Outlook reported September 10.
The September's forecast for 2019 output was up 2% from August's forecast. The 2020 projection also slump 5.2% from the prior month's forecast, and the EIA now forecasts about 617 million short tons in output next year.
Coal exports for this year were projected to total 94.2 million short tons in the September report, dipping 5.8% from the August report. From 2018 exports, the EIA projects an 18.5% drop, the largest forecast drop year over year since December 2016.
The EIA forecast 85.7 million short tons of exports in 2020, down 9% from the 2019 projection and down 5.2% from the previous month's forecast.
Power sector consumption was forecast to total about 543 million short tons this year, down 14.7% from the previous year's consumption, and about 500 million short tons next year, down 8% from the 2019 projection.
Total US consumption was forecast to be over 593 million short tons in 2019, down 13.8% from the previous year. The EIA 2020 forecast was about 548 million short tons, down 7.6% from the 2019 forecast.
The September EIA report projected US coal-powered generation share of 25% in 2019 and 22% in 2020, compared with a share of 27.4% in 2018. While the 2019 projection rose 1% compared with the August report, the 2020 projection fell 2%.
Natural gas generation share for 2019 was projected to be 37% in the most recent STEO, flat from the August forecast.
The 2020 generation forecast was 38%, up from August's projection of 36%, and the highest generation forecast since June.
The EIA forecast gas production at 91.4 Bcf/d for 2019 in September, which would be up 9.7% from 2018 production, while the 2020 forecast was 93.2 Bcf/d, up 2% from the 2019 forecast.
Power sector consumption this year was predicted to be 30.6 Bcf/d, up 5.3% from 2018 consumption, and 30.8 Bcf/d in 2020, up 0.8% year on year.
(Writing by Becky Du Editing by Tammy Yang)
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