Coal trying hard as year closes

DATA from the US Energy Information Administration released on Thursday for the last full week before the start of the holiday season has revealed that the nation’s mines were making strides in production as the year began its final descent.

Donna Schmidt

For the week ended December 21, EIA said US coal operations produced 19.5 million short tons, 3.1% higher than the week prior and a respectable 5.5% higher than the same period of 2012.

Using the Mississippi River as a split point, EIA said eastern mines had 8.2Mt of output, while western coalfield mines totalled 11.3Mt.

The double-stepping in tonnage was not enough to bring it above last year’s numbers, however.

According to federal data year-to-date tonnage nationwide for the week was 976.6Mt, about 1.8% short of comparable period data from last year.

Due to the New Year holiday this week, the EIA said figures for the week ended December 28 would be released on January 6.

Data for the week in progress should be released on January 9.