The US has seen an increase in coal exports in the first quarter of 2017.
New statistics from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show they were 58% higher compared to the same period last year.
Steam coal exports rose by six million short tons and metallurgical coal exports – used in steel production – increased by two million short tons.
While most of these exports were shipped from Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico ports, smaller amounts also came from ports on the Great Lakes and California.
However planned coal export projects elsewhere in the US have stalled. A new export facility has been proposed for Oakland, California but its construction is being challenged by local government.
The EIA expects growth to slow in the coming months, with total 2017 exports forecast at 72 million short tons – still 19% higher than the level last year.
The US is projected to become a net exporter of natural gas this year.
Donald Trump recently said Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t want the US to become a net exporter of energy.