by EIA, March 27, 2019
While U.S. coal consumption has generally declined since its 2008 peak, EIA expects that U.S. coal exports reached 116 million short tons (MMst) in 2018, the highest level in five years, based on foreign trade data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Exports of coal from the United States have increased since 2016 as international prices have made it more economic for U.S. producers to sell coal overseas.
In 2018, the United States exported 15% of its coal, and the remaining 85% was sold to end-use markets, primarily power sector and industrial customers. Coal exports have increased during the past two years, driven by increasing international coal demand, and in 2018 accounted for the largest share of total U.S. coal disposition on record. The United States exported 54 MMst of steam coal and 62 MMst of metallurgical coal in 2018, based on export data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.