There are three primary coal-producing regions in the US: the Powder River Basin (or PRB), the Illinois Basin, and Appalachia. The Powder River Basin, the largest coal-producing region in the US, is located in Wyoming and Montana. It represents almost half of the total coal output in the country. It’s the lowest-cost thermal coal-producing region in the world.
The Illinois Basin is located in Illinois, Ohio, and Western Kentucky, and produces high sulfur coal. The Appalachian region, the oldest coal-producing region in the country, is located in the Eastern United States. Out of these three coal-producing regions, the Appalachian region is usually the most affected by natural gas price movements.
PRB spot coal prices
Coal prices in Illinois Basin
Illinois Basin (or ILB) coal prices rose to settle at $30.85 for the week ended September 15, 2017. The price had remained unchanged at $30.70 per short ton on a week-over-week basis.
Peabody Energy (BTU), Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP), and Natural Resources Partners (NRP) are major players that operate in the region. Utilities (XLU) like Southern Company (SO) and Tennessee Valley Authority use ILB coal.
Coal prices in the Appalachian region
During the week ended September 15, 2017, Central Appalachian coal prices came in at $54.25 per short ton, higher than the $53.25 in the previous week.