According to the latest annual coal report released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the peak of us coal production capacity in 2019 will be 1.009 billion short tons (915 million tons), which is 28% lower than that of 1.407 billion short tons in 2009. In 2009-2019, U.S. coal production fell by 35% as many mines shut down and operating mines cut capacity.
According to the report, the U.S. coal mine capacity utilization rate is 70% in 2019, 72% in 2015-2019, and 82% in 2000-2014. The decline in capacity utilization is mainly due to the gradual decline in coal demand in many industries in the United States.
In 2019, the U.S. surface coal production capacity is 656 million short tons, which is 15% lower than that of 773 million short tons in 2015. In addition to the decline in production capacity, due to the decline in the production of coal mines, the capacity utilization rate of open-pit coal mines in 2019 also decreased from 77% in 2015 to 68%.
In 2015-2019, although the production capacity and production decreased by 12% and 14% respectively, the capacity utilization rate of American underground coal mines was still close to 77%, indicating that the decline of mining production in the United States was mainly due to the closure of coal mines rather than the decline of utilization rate.
Almost all metallurgical coal in the United States comes from underground coal mines, so the productivity utilization rate of underground mines is more stable. Since 2011, the demand for thermal coal for industrial, commercial and heating in the United States has declined steadily. In 2019, open pit coal production accounts for about 60% of U.S. steam coal demand.