According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), there has been a decline in US coal exports in the last 2 years, due to lower demand for coal to Europe and an increased supply from other countries.
In the first six months of 2014 coal exports totalled 52.3 million short tons (MMst), which is a 16% drop compared to the same period in 2013.
Production of metallurgical coal –used in the production of steel and steam coal and commonly used to fuel boilers – represented less than 8% of production but 56% of total US exports in 2013.
The leading destination of metallurgical coal is said to Europe, followed by Asia which together account for nearly 80% of US metallurgical exports in the first half of 2014.
Supply from Australia, Canada and Russia have also increased, the EIA added.
Steam coal, mainly used to generate electricity but also used at combined heat and power plants, accounted for more than 90% of domestic coal production in the US.
Europe received 8.8 MMst of steam coal exports this year, which is a fall of 7.4 MMst from the period last year.