Consol ups export outlook

CITING expected strength in the export markets through the rest of this year, Pennsylvania-based producer Consol Energy confirmed its production guidance for the quarter while increasing its export outlook for all of 2011.
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A Consol Energy longwall

Donna Schmidt

The company said late last week that whole-year exports, which had been projected to be 10 million tons, will now range between 10 and 10.5Mt following the return of company executives who were involved in customer meetings in Asia.

“[They] see Consol’s overall export markets remaining strong throughout the remainder of the year,” the company said, adding that it continued to ship coal to four different continents.

Consol also reaffirmed its earlier coal production guidance for the quarter, holding steady at 14.4 to 14.8Mt.

“Total coal shipments in the quarter have been strong, causing inventory to be drawn down to a level lower than what was expected,” officials said.

Dahlman Rose and Company analyst Daniel Scott told Reuters that the announcement was positive, especially considering recent cuts by fellow producers Alpha Natural Resources and Walter Energy.

Alpha said last week that it expects a shipment shortfall due to a drop in Asian demand, while Walter said at the same time that reduced production at some of its operations would result in lower totals.

"Of particular note is [Consol’s] bullish tone for international demand," Scott said.

Consol, which owns 11 bituminous mining complexes in five states and has proved and probable reserves of 4.4 billion tons, markets both met and thermal coal.

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