Utility coal stockpiles stood at 128.4 million st at the end of May, according to the most recent Energy Information Administration data, released last week. The figure was down 20.9% from the year-ago month, and down 23.7% from the five-year average for the month. Stockpiles typically build during May, as utilities prepare for summer burn. The five-year average is a build of 3.1 million st; this year, it was a drawdown of 540,000 st. According to Arlington, Virginia-based energy consultancy Energy Ventures Analysis, utility stockpiles at the end of June stood at 119.2 million st. The EVA total, based on survey responses and modeling, would be 24.4% off the EIA’s year-ago figure for June, and 26.5% below from the five-year average. It would also be the lowest stockpile figure March 2014, which followed the so-called Polar Vortex of early 2014. Yet coal prices have shown little reaction. The over-the-counter price for front-month Powder River Basin 8,800 Btu/lb coal was assessed Friday at $12.25/st, the lowest price this year. The price started the year at $12.40/st, peaked at $13/st February 23, then has largely declined in the following weeks. In the East, the front-month price for Central Appalachia rail (CSX) coal,… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center