Utilities Driving Record Coal Production

The National Mining Assn. (NMA) is predicting record levels of U.S. coal production and consumption in 1999, surpassing previous records set in 1998. Coal production is expected to reach 1.12 billion tons by year end, compared with the estimated 1.11 billion tons produced last year. Total domestic consumption and exports should equal 1.14 billion tons in 1999. That's up from the 1.13 billion tons the NMA estimates was used in 1998. Consumption by electric utility companies, which accounts for about 80% of coal usage, will again drive consumption. Overseas exports will continue to decline, as they have since 1995. Coal imports, which were 8 million tons in 1998, are expected to increase to 9 million tons this year.

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