Rising U.S. coal demand pushes headcount up in Q2’22 – report
“The average number of employees in the coal industry in the United States has steadily increased over the past four quarters,” the report said. Employment in the second quarter rose 1.5% to 43,358 from the previous quarter, even as coal production volumes fell 2.5% to 145.5 million tonnes.
“The extraordinary prices centered on the markets[de l’Union européenne]have improved cash flow for U.S. coal producers, allowing them to reduce a backlog of hiring even as rail and marine logistics constraints have limited their ability to significantly increase volumes,” Steve Piper, director for energy research at S&P Global Commodity Insights, said in an email.[EuropeanUnion}marketshasimprovedcashflowstoUScoalproducersallowingthemtoreduceabackloginhiringeveniflogisticsconstraintsinrailandseabornehavelimitedtheirabilitytoincreasevolumesmuch”StevePiperdirectorforenergyresearchatS&PGlobalCommodityInsightssaidinanemail[EuropeanUnion}marketshasimprovedcashflowstoUScoalproducersallowingthemtoreduceabackloginhiringeveniflogisticsconstraintsinrailandseabornehavelimitedtheirabilitytoincreasevolumesmuch”StevePiperdirectorforenergyresearchatS&PGlobalCommodityInsightssaidinanemail
U.S. coal exports rose in the second quarter as demand and prices remained at high levels amid the global energy crisis, supporting further production increases, he added. .
“The demand pattern for 2023 looks good, as the economic spread to EU coal and US domestic natural gas, which is also under strong demand pressure from EU markets, has set the conditions for the volume growth,” Piper said. “These factors are likely favoring hiring, although the longer-term outlook is less certain.”
In the second quarter, total production from the Powder River Basin decreased 2.3% year-over-year to 60.8 Mt, as production decreased 6.8% quarter-on-quarter. However, according to S&P, employment is on the rise, with an increase of 1.9% per quarter and 15.8% per year to 5,043 employees.
Total production from the Northern Appalachian coal operations totaled 22.5 Mt, down 3.7% annually and down 2.3% quarterly, but employment in the three months ended May 30 June was 9,784, up 6.5% year-over-year and 2.4% quarter-over-quarter, S&P reports.
In central Appalachia, production increased 7.1% year over year to 15.0 Mt, a quarterly increase of 3.1%. Employment jumped to 13,506, a change of 1.5% from 13,313 in the first quarter and an increase of 17.6% from the figure of 11,482 in the year-ago quarter.
“Meanwhile, production from miners in the Illinois Basin totaled 20.8 Mt, an increase of 12.7% from 18.4 Mt in the prior year quarter and an increase of 9. 5% from 19.0 Mt in the first quarter,” the report said. “The number of workers in the region stood at 5,961, a quarter-over-quarter increase of 0.9% from 5,907 and a year-on-year increase of 10.1% from 5,414. “