US MET COAL 2027 - A review of the US Met Coal Industry

This study presents an independent review of the US metallurgical (or “coking”) coal industry, including general insight into the industry and opinions regarding the operational, technical and financial aspects of coking coal mines and mine operators in the United States.

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Salient factors addressed in this study include:

  • Historical and future met coal production.
  • Primary coal producers, consumers and supporting infrastructure.
  • Coal sales practices and considerations.
  • Types of met coal and their associated quality levels.
  • Historic participation in the export market.
  • The long-term supply/demand balance situation (through 2027).
  • Expected operating trends.

While metallurgical coal is a small percentage of US coal production overall, the United States remains a significant supplier of met coal to the global market (in 2016, the US produced 57 million tons of met coal, placing it behind only Australia and China in terms of annual output). A relatively fixed portion of US met coal output (approximately 20 million tons) is consumed in North America while the remainder is exported from Atlantic and Gulf coast port facilities via ocean-going vessels. The popularity of the US met product in the global market is due to its diversity of suppliers, range of coal qualities and historical reliability. However, despite its strong global reputation and accompanying demand, the outlook for the US Met Industry is uncertain.

The long decline of the Central Appalachian coal region, the dominant met coal production center in the US, has led to the disappearance of many small operators, a lack of required investment, a halt to new permitting efforts and virtually no new mine development. A robust metallurgical coal market may result in a temporary bump up in metallurgical coal output, however the ability to halt the drop in US output and reverse production trends will require substantial and sustained financial commitments in the form of coal price assurance coupled with investment in new production capacity.

US Met Coal 2027 explores the challenges facing the industry, and opines on the long-term direction for producers and their associated participation in the global met market.

For additional information regarding this important study, please contact John T Boyd Company’s Eastern US Headquarter Office, 724-873-4400 (inquire with Bill Wolf).