HOUSTON, April 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. coal export increased 61 percent in 2017 from the 2016 level with export to Asia more than doubled, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Thursday.
The EIA reported that the United States exported 97.0 million short tons (MMst) of coal in 2017. Exports to Asia more than doubled from 15.7 MMst in 2016 to 32.8 MMst in 2017, although Europe continued to be the largest recipient of U.S. coal exports.
Steam coal, which is used to generate electricity, accounted for most of the increase in 2017 coal exports, said the agency. India, South Korea, and Japan were the three out of top five recipients of U.S. steam coal exports in 2017.
U.S. metallurgical coal exports also increased in 2017, reaching 55.3 MMst and accounting for 57 percent of total coal exports, up more than a third from 2016.
According to the EIA, metallurgical coal is mainly used in steel production. Europe was the top destination for metallurgical coal exports, accounting for 45 percent of total U.S. metallurgical exports in 2017.
The top six countries -- Brazil, Japan, Ukraine, Canada, India, and South Korea -- importing metallurgical coal from the United States accounted for more than half of all metallurgical exports in 2017, it said.