West Virginia coal production declined week over week by -10.6%. Production from the Northern Appalachian region of the state decreased by -9% and production from the state’s Central Appalachian region declined by -12.3% from the previous week. Compared to the same 28 weeks of 2021, year to date 2022 West Virginia coal production is up +1.4%. +0.3% from the state’s Northern Appalachian region and +2.9% from the Central Appalachian region of the state.
National coal production also declined during the July 4 holiday week by -8.2%. -11.8% in the Appalachian coal basin, -12.5% in the Interior coal region and -5.4% in the Western coal region. Compared to the same time last year, U.S. coal production is up +2.6%. Appalachian region coal production is off -1.8%, Interior basin production is down -5.2% and production from the Western coal region is up +7.3%.
Spot prices for U.S. thermal coal were unchanged from the previous week. Compared to the same week of 2021, Northern Appalachian prices are +148% higher, Central Appalachian +165.5%, Illinois Basin +451.45%, Powder River Basin +38.4% and Western Bituminous +35%. Average natural gas prices declined week over week by -17.3%. Compared to the same week last year, average U.S. natural gas spot prices are up +79.5%.
According to data reported by West Virginia’s two Class one railroad systems to the federal Surface Transportation Board, the average number of unit coal trains holding per day decreased from the previous week by -35.5% (-3.7 trains). Reported coal carloads in the entire Northern Appalachian and Central Appalachian coal regions increased week over week by +15.6%.
River barge loadings of West Virginia coal decreased from the previous week by -3.5%.
U.S. iron and steel production declined week over week by -1%. Furnace capacity utilization decreased -1.9%. Compared to the same time last year, total domestic iron and steel production is off -2.3%. Cumulative furnace capacity utilization is up +1.3%.
Total U.S. electric generation increased from the previous week by +1.6%. Generation in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions increased +0.48%. Output in the Central Industrial region increased +0.68% week over week. Compared to the same time last year, total U.S. electric generation is up year over year +3.4%. Generation in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions is up +2.1% and output in the Central Industrial region is up +2.5%.
U.S. rail traffic decreased week over week -12.5%. Coal carloads decreased -6.6%, Finished steel and steel making raw materials traffic declined -18.6% and auto making carloads declined -17.7% week over week. Compared to the same 28 weeks of 2021, total U.S. rail traffic is off -3.5%. Coal carloads are up +3.5%, steelmaking carloads are down -7.2% and auto making traffic is off -1.7% from the same time last year.