Falling nearly 20% on the month and year, May US thermal coal exports were 2.8 million mt while the average CIF ARA price reached an all-time high, data from the US Census Bureau and S&P Global Commodity Insights show.
Register Now Thermal coal accounted for 41.8% of total US coal exports in the latest month. On a year-to-date basis, US thermal exports were 3.6% lower than the year-ago period. The average monthly CIF ARA price meanwhile rose to all-time high $327.88/mt in May, according to the Platts assessment by S&P Global Commodity Insights.
The sharp decrease in thermal exports was due to lower shipped volumes of both bituminous and subbituminous coal. Bituminous coal exports fell 17.6% on the month and 21.4% on the year to 2.4 million mt. Year to date, bituminous coal exports were 5.6% lower than the 2021 period. Demonstrating similar downward export trends as bituminous coal, subbituminous coal exports plummeted 27.1% on the month to 366,344 mt in May. Compared with the year-ago month, the subbituminous export volume was 1.4% higher. Year-to-date subbituminous coal exports were 8.8% higher than the same period in 2021.
Unlike thermal coal, metallurgical coal exports increased on the month in May, rising slightly to 3.9 million mt. The volume was 1.4% higher on the month and 6.8% higher on the year. It was a seven-month high for met coal exports. Met coal accounted for 58.2% of total US coal exports in May. Low vol FOB USEC metallurgical coal price fell to $462.52/mt in May, down from all-time high $508.91/mt two months prior.
Combined met and thermal exports were 6.7 million mt, down 8.5% on the month and 2.6% on the year. Year-to-date total coal exports were 1.7% higher than the year-ago period.
Combined calcined and green petroleum coke exports rose 7% on the month in May to 3.3 million mt, up 20.3% on the year. Year-to-date total petcoke exports were 15.3 million mt, up 11.7% from January through May 2021.
The increase in petcoke exports was driven by more fuel-grade petcoke shipments. Non-calcined petcoke exports rose 9.6% on the month and 22.7% on the year to 3 million mt. On a year-to-date basis, green petcoke exports were 13.9 million mt, up 12.1% from the 2021 period. The average FOB USGC 6.5% petcoke price was $185.50/mt in May, according to Platts assessment data by S&P Global.
Calcined petcoke exports, on the other hand, decreased 9.7% on the month to 319,078 mt. Compared with the year-ago month, calcined petcoke shipments rose 1.7%. Year to date, anode-grade petcoke exports rose 7.4% from 2021 to 1.5 million mt in May 2022.