Lower coal demand from Europe and increased supply from other nations have led to a decline in US coal exports since 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
During the first half of this year, coal exports in the US totalled 52.3 million short tons (MMst) – a 16% fall compared to the same period in 2013.
Production of metallurgical coal –used in the production of steel and steam coal and commonly used to fuel boilers – represented less than 8% of production but 56% of total US exports in 2013.
Europe is said to be the leading destination of metallurgical coal exports followed by Asia – together accounting for nearly 80% of US metallurgical exports in the first half of 2014.
Supply from Australia, Canada and Russia have also increased, the EIA added.
Steam coal, mainly used to generate electricity but also used at combined heat and power plants, accounted for more than 90% of domestic coal production in the US.
However Europe received 8.8 MMst of US steam coal exports this year – a 7.4MMst fall from the same period in 2013.