The Energy Information Administration just released new charts of which ports are exporting U.S. coal, and where that coal is going. About 75 percent of the coal exported from the U.S. is going to Europe and Asia.
Most of the coal exports are shipped through p0rts in Norfolk, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland, and New Orleans. The agency notes that although Wyoming produces more coal than the next seven top coal-producing states combined, there isn’t a major export port on the U.S. West Coast.
That may explain why there are so many proposals to build coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. And why more coal trains are traveling through Seattle to get to coal-export terminals in Canada.
“The unavailability of significant capacity limits exports from the western United States, the country’s largest coal producing region,” the EIA reports.
The EIA is expecting coal exports to reach an all-time high this year – surpassing the 113 million tons exported in 1981.
In 2011, EIA reported some of the top U.S. coal importers in Europe were The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Ukraine. In Asia South Korea, Japan, China and India ranked in the top 10 U.S. coal importers.