Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 16.1 million st in the week ended July 29, up 4.4% from the prior week and up 13.1% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday. It was the fifth highest estimate so far this year, and first to top 16 million st since the week ended February 18. The production increase comes as stockpiles continue to decline and coal consumption is higher. Platts Analytics’ Bentek Energy estimates utility coal stockpiles as of last Thursday stood at 129.7 million st, which would be the lowest monthly total since September 2014. Platts Analytics also estimated US coal consumption is up 3.2% this year compared to last year, primarily due to higher natural gas prices. For the recently-concluded week, coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which primarily consists of coal from the Powder River Basin, totaled an estimated 7.62 million st, […]