Midway through 2018, however, some producers are revising production guidance figures downward
by steve fiscor, editor-in-chief
Gillette, Wyoming, was ground zero when the coal industry took its big hit in 2016. When total national coal production figures fell to levels not seen since the 1980s, production from the Powder River Basin (PRB) mines fell from nearly 400 million tons to 314 million tons. While one could compare losses in other regions of the U.S. on a Btu basis, this amounted to 16 fewer unit trains per day leaving the PRB.
Last year, coal demand improved steadily and PRB production recovered by more than 20 million tons to 334 million tons. This year, demand has flattened or decreased and at the mid-year point it looks as though 2018 might end up looking a lot more like 2016 than 2017 from a total tonnage standpoint.
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