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US Hampton Roads coal exports climb to four-month high in November

Coal exports out of the terminals in the Hampton Roads region in Virginia climbed to 2.28 million st in November, up 16.7% from October, but 17.4% below the year-ago month, according to data the Virginia Maritime Association released Jan. 5.

The 2.28 million st was the third-lowest total for the corresponding month in the last 12 years, only higher than 1.79 million st in November 2015 and 1.96 million st in November 2016.

Exports, along with domestic thermal prices, rose in November, while global seaborne thermal coal and domestic metallurgical coal prices declined on the month. CIF ARA 6,000 kcal/kg coal averaged $53.94/mt in November, down from the 12-month high of $56.27/mt in October and $54.55/mt averaged in the same month a year ago.

US coal prices were mixed in November. FOB Hampton Roads 6,000 kcal/kg thermal coal jumped to a 19-month high $82.84/mt in November, while US East Coast low-vol metallurgical coal averaged $112.67/mt FOB, compared with $82.38/mt and $114.30/mt, respectively, in October, and $81.47/mt and $131.86/mt in the year-ago month. The thermal coal average was the highest in a month since $84.49/mt in April 2019.

Cumulative exports from the terminals through November have reached 24.48 million st since January, down 21% from a year earlier and the second-lowest through the first 11 months of a year in the last 12 years, only higher than 19.58 million st in 2016.

The Hampton Roads region saw 31 vessels set sail in November, up from 29 in October, but down from 46 in the year-ago month. Total departures through November is at 345, down from 428 in the same period a year earlier.

Lamberts Point exports climb to eight-month high

Of the three individual terminals in the region, only Dominion Terminal Associates saw a monthly decrease.

Exports out of Lamberts Point, in Norfolk, totaled an eight-month-high 1 million st in November, up from 783,456 st in October, but down from 1.18 million st last year. It was the highest monthly total for the Norfolk Southern-owned and operated terminal since 1.28 million st in March but was the lowest figure for the corresponding month since 720,441 st in November 2016.

Through November, exports from Lamberts Point totaled 10.29 million st, down from 13.02 million st a year ago.

Pier IX, owned and operated by Kinder Morgan and served by CSX, exported 438,812 st in November, up from 184,498 st in October, but down from 503,209 st in the year-ago month.

Through November, exports at Pier IX have reached 3.6 million st, down from 6.91 million st in the 11 months of 2019 and the lowest total for the corresponding period in over 12 years.

Dominion Terminal Associates, also in Newport News, saw exports fall to 836,186 st in November, from 983,680 st in October and 1.07 million st in the year-ago month.

Cumulative coal exports at DTA — which is owned by Arch Resources and Contura Energy and served by CSX — totaled 10.59 million st through November, down from 11.05 million st in the same period a year ago.
Source: Platts

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