EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook projects total U.S. coal production in 2013 to be close to its 2012 level in the November 2012 Short-Term Energy Outlook as coal stockpile drawdowns and lower exports offset a projected increase in domestic coal consumption.
The November 2012 Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts a 7% decline in coal production in 2012 from 2011 as domestic consumption, primarily in the electric power sector, falls. Coal production for the first three quarters (January-September) of 2012 was 46 million short tons (MMst) below the same period in 2011. Appalachian and Western region coal production are expected to both decline by 8% in 2012, but the production decline in the Interior should be lower, at 3%, because of strong demand for Illinois Basin coal. However, Western region coal output is expected to reverse course in 2013 and grow 5% to 571 MMst, while Appalachian and Interior region coal production are expected to fall for a second straight year.