Coal exports from the United States in March 2013 totaled 13.6 million short tons, nearly 0.9 million short tons above the previous monthly export peak in June 2012. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is projecting a third straight year of more than 100 million short tons of coal exports in 2013, following annual exports in 2011 of 107.3 million short tons and record annual exports in 2012 of 125.7 million short tons.
Increased Asian demand for coal contributed to the record level of coal exports from the United States in March. Of the record export tonnage, 6.3 million short tons were steam coal and 7.4 million short tons were metallurgical coal.
Five customs districts accounted for 90% of the coal exported from the United States during March: Norfolk, Virginia; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Mobile, Alabama; and Houston-Galveston, Texas. Each of these customs districts is located on the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico (see map below), and each has access to world-class coal loading infrastructure.
The top five destinations of exported coal (in descending order) during March were China, Netherlands (a large transshipment point), United Kingdom, South Korea, and Brazil.