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Appalachian Coal Price Rose in the Last Week of September

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

Coal-producing regions

The Powder River Basin, the Illinois Basin, and the Appalachian region are the three primary locations where major US coal (KOL) producers mine coal. The largest coal-producing region in the United States is the Powder River Basin located in Wyoming and Montana. It represents approximately 50.0% of the entire US coal production. It’s also the world’s most economical thermal coal–producing region. Coal companies Peabody Energy (BTU) and Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) operate in this region.

The Illinois Basin, which spreads across Ohio, Illinois, and western Kentucky, produces coal with high sulfur content. The Appalachian region, the oldest coal-producing region in the United States, produces coal with a low sulfur content.

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Weekly coal spot prices

During the week ended September 29, 2017, spot coal prices for the Powder River Basin and the Illinois Basin closed at the same price as the previous week. Spot coal prices for the Powder River Basin closed at $11.55 per short ton, while the Illinois Basin closed at $30.85.

Central Appalachian coal spot prices settled at $56.25 per short ton for the week ended September 29, 2017, which was higher than $54.25 in the previous week. The mining process in Appalachia is expensive, which has encouraged coal producers to gradually shift to the more economical Illinois Basin. Coal companies Natural Resource Partners (NRP) and CNX Coal Resources (CNXC) continue to operate in the Appalachian region.

For more updates on the coal industry, please visit our Coal page.

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