US Coal Production to Fall 2.5% Annually in Volume Terms to 2022


Cleveland, OH, October 18, 2018 — Coal production in the US is forecast to decrease 2.5% annually in volume terms through 2022, according to Coal: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Falling output will largely reflect declines in domestic demand. Natural gas is expected to continue capturing share from coal in the electricity generation market, restraining coal demand and, by extension, production. Stiff competition from renewable sources of energy will also restrain advances in output. Declines in production compared to trends over the historical period will be more tempered by gains in overall energy consumption and electricity generation as well as by the repeal of the Clean Power Plan by the Trump administration. Expanding export opportunities, particularly in the Middle East and in the developing economies of Asia, are projected to bolster US coal production and stave off further losses.

Production of bituminous coal is expected to fall modestly through 2022 but overtake sub-bituminous coal as the leading rank produced in the US. Gains in production share will be driven by the higher energy content in this coal rank. The electric power market will continue to dominate US demand for coal as annual segment losses are partially offset by rising demand for electricity.

These and other key insights are featured in Coal: United States. This report forecasts to 2022 US coal production and demand in short tons. Total production is segmented by rank in terms of:

  • sub-bituminous
  • bituminous
  • lignite and anthracite

Total demand is segmented by market as follows:

  • electric power
  • commercial, industrial, and other markets

To illustrate historical trends, total production, total demand, the various segments, and trade are provided in annual series from 2007 to 2017.

Charcoal production and demand are excluded from the scope of this report, as charcoal is a product that can be made from wood, peat, coal, or other materials in a separate production process. Throughout this report, measures in tons refer to short tons. Re-exports of coal are excluded from demand and trade figures.

More information about the report is available at: