US 2020 coal output forecast to drop to 57-yr low, EIA

sxcoal.com Production & Sales,  International 2020-08-12 11:34:12

US coal production is expected to drop to a 57-year low of 502.2 million short tons in 2020, said the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its August Short-Term Energy Outlook on August 11.


The volume is 1 million short tons higher than July's forecast but falls 28.8% from actual output of 705 million short tons in full-year of 2019.


The estimation hit the lowest following previous record low of 477 million short tons in 1963, according to the Short-Term Energy Outlook. In 2021, the country's coal production is estimated to recover to 564 million short tons.



The estimated production for 2020 has been lowered by 94.40 million short tons from the original target set by the EIA in early this year, considering tepid power demand and reduced coal production due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak since early this year, said the administration.


EIA forecast that the US coal consumption by power industry will be 391 million short tons in 2020, falling 27.46% from 539 million short tons last year, while coal usage for 2021 will further decline to 520 million short tons.


This year, total coal consumption by sectors including petcoke plants and retail is expected to drop to 435 million short tons from 2019's 587 million short tons, and increase to 520 million short tons in 2021.


According to the outlook, the US's coal-fired power will account for 18.1% and 21.8% of total energy mix in 2020 and 2021, higher than 17.6% and 21.2% forecasted in July. In 2019, its coal-fired power's share was 24.3%.


This year, the US's natural gas-fueled power is estimated to account for 40.1% of total power generation from 2019's 37.3% due to decreased natural gas prices, and then drop to 35% in 2021.


(Writing by Tammy Yang  Editing by Jessie Jia)
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