U.S. coal exports hit a new monthly high in March, according to an Energy Information Administration report released today. At 13.6 million short tons, or MMst, these newest numbers exceed June 2012's previous record-breaking month by nearly 900,000 short tons.
According to the report, Asian demand was the main push behind's March's major move. Comparing components, 7.4 MMst of metallurgical coal (used for steel production) outweighed 6.3 million MMst of steam coal exports for March.
Although exports are reaching record-highs, the EIA expects overall exports to decline in 2013, down 13 MMst from 2012's 126 MMst. The administration cites Europe's weakening economy, slowing Asian demand growth, more overall coal supply, and falling coal prices as the main reasons for the projected decline.