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Why Did Westmoreland Coal’s Shipments Rise in 3Q16?

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Shipments by segment

Shipments from Westmoreland Coal’s (WLB) Coal-US segment continued to be a major revenue driver for the company. Shipments from the company’s US coal mining operations came in at 6.9 million tons compared to 6.0 million tons during 3Q15 and 4.7 million tons in 2Q16. This is nearly a 15% rise on a YoY (year-over-year) basis.

Shipments from the company’s Canadian mining operations dropped nearly 18% to 5.1 million tons compared to 6.2 million tons during 3Q15. In contrast, shipments from Westmoreland Resource Partners’ (WMLP) coal mining segment witnessed a significant rise in 3Q16. Shipments from this segment were up nearly 19% from 1.6 million tons in 3Q15 to 1.9 million tons in 3Q16.

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Westmoreland Coal’s overall shipments

For 3Q16, Westmoreland Coal’s total coal (KOL) shipments came in at 13.9 million tons compared to 13.8 million in 3Q15 and 12.0 million tons in 2Q16. This is nearly a 1% rise on a YoY basis.

Why the rise?

The marginal YoY rise in coal shipments was mainly due to a significant increase in shipments from the company’s Coal-WLMP and Coal-US segments on account of strong summer cooling demand. Also, operational improvements in the company’s Coal-WLMP segment helped it report higher shipments both on a quarter-over-quarter and on a year-over-year basis. However, this increase was offset by lower shipments from the company’s Canadian coal mining operations due to heavy rains.

Hot summer weather conditions could also help coal sales volumes of WLB peers such as Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP), Cloud Peak Energy (CLD), Peabody Energy (BTUUQ), Arch Coal (ARCH), and Alpha Natural Resources (ANRZQ).

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at 3Q16 revenues from WLB’s operating segments.

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