• 3 minutes e-car sales collapse
  • 6 minutes America Is Exceptional in Its Political Divide
  • 11 minutes Perovskites, a ‘dirt cheap’ alternative to silicon, just got a lot more efficient
  • 3 days "What’s In Store For Europe In 2023?" By the CIA (aka RFE/RL as a ruse to deceive readers)
  • 8 days America should go after China but it should be done in a wise way.
  • 1 day Even Shell Agrees with Climate Change!
  • 3 days How Far Have We Really Gotten With Alternative Energy
  • 4 days The European Union is exceptional in its political divide. Examples are apparent in Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Netherlands, Belarus, Ireland, etc.
  • 3 days World could get rid of Putin and Russia but nobody is bold enough
  • 6 days Oil Stocks, Market Direction, Bitcoin, Minerals, Gold, Silver - Technical Trading <--- Chris Vermeulen & Gareth Soloway weigh in
New Tech Enhances Safety and Performance of Lithium Ion Batteries

New Tech Enhances Safety and Performance of Lithium Ion Batteries

Researchers at Incheon National University…

Warren Buffett Regrets Owning Electric Utilities

Warren Buffett Regrets Owning Electric Utilities

Buffett recognizes that the US…

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

More Info

Premium Content

The Coal Price Crash Isn’t Over Yet

  • Coal prices plunged over winter due to mild weather and falling natural gas prices.
  • Despite the recent collapse in the price of coal, it remains significantly more expensive than natural gas in the United States.
  • In 2022, S. power generation from renewable sources surpassed coal-fired generation in the electric power sector for the first time.

Coal prices in the United States and the benchmark coal price in Australia have plummeted this winter amid milder-than-usual weather and the falling price of natural gas.  

Despite the recent slump in coal prices, they will have to fall even further to become competitive with natural gas for power generation again, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Per data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average weekly coal spot price in Central Appalachia stood at $88.80 per short ton, and that in the Illinois Basin was at $78.45 per short ton in the week to March 24. Coal spot prices were unchanged from the previous week, but they have plunged by 57% since the beginning of this year.

Warmer winter weather, including in Europe, has alleviated pressure on electric power generation and the call on coal reserve plants in Europe, although some UK coal-fired plants were asked to be on standby at times of peak demand on the coldest days and nights this winter.

Despite the drop in coal prices from the record highs seen last year and at the beginning of this year, prices in the United States have to drop further if coal is to become price-competitive with natural gas. Measured in million British thermal units (MMBtu), the price of Central Appalachia coal was $3.55 per MMBtu last week, above the price of the U.S. benchmark natural gas price in the equivalent amount.

The U.S. Henry Hub front-month futures settled on Wednesday below the $2/MMBtu mark— at $1.991 per MMBtu. This was the lowest closing price since the lockdowns in 2020 and a 64% plunge from a year ago.

Natural gas is not coal’s only competitor in electric power generation. Renewables are eating into coal’s share, EIA data showed this week.

Last year, U.S. power generation from renewable sources—wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and geothermal—surpassed coal-fired generation in the electric power sector for the first time. The share of coal-fired generation fell from 23% in 2021 to 20% in 2022 as a number of coal-fired power plants retired and the remaining plants were used less, the EIA said.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • George Doolittle on March 30 2023 said:
    Even at one us dollar per metric ton US coal of any type is over priced...although certainly very valuable...just not of any value for generating electricity upon the entirety of the USA at the moment right now end of March, 2023 and going forward well nigh forever.

Leave a comment

EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News