Thu, September 7, 2017 10:47 am

We generally use this space to say something lighthearted but with so many of our friends, clients and colleagues facing challenges on many levels currently, we felt it pertinent to express our hopes that better days are on the horizon. We appreciate the dedication so many have shown us, even through the worst of times. Please enjoy this month’s offering and don’t hesitate to contact us if there is more we can do to support you.

  • DTC Supply/Demand Forecasts: This month we made many changes to our 17/18 supply and demand forecasts, based off the latest figures from the EEI, STB, EIA and the US trade data. The most significant adjustment we made was to 2017 exports, increasing them by a whopping 9 mm tons to reflect the strength in export shipments, especially on the thermal side. The other changes are all bearish in nature, with utility, domestic met and industrial demand all being lowered while supply forecasts were all raised. Turn to page 9 for more.
  • Outlook for Global Benchmarks: Given that global spot prices for both thermal and met coal have continued to climb higher, we have adjusted our forecasts accordingly. Also at play is the starkly dismal performance of the US Dollar. The dollar continues an abnormally long streak of losses, falling every month since February, the longest losing streak in fourteen years. Turn to page 75 for our fiscal 2018 global thermal estimate and page 87 for changes to our JFY Q3 (Oct – Dec) and JFY Q4 (Jan – Mar) estimates.
  • EIA Revisions Estimates Issued: We expect to see the EIA true up its estimated production figures for Q2 later in the month to match reported MSHA production. We estimate total production will be revised downward by 2.98 mm tons. For a list of estimates by region, turn to page 13.
  • Xcel Surprises with CO Coal Retirements: Two of the three coal units at the PRB-burning Comanche power plant in Colorado are potentially on the chopping block under a settlement agreement filed with state regulators by Xcel Energy (XEL) subsidiary Public Service of Colorado. Coal-Fired Generation news is on page 24.
  • CSX Makes Changes to Metrics: As we went to pull monthly stats from the AAR, we were surprised to find that CSX was no longer on the list of rails to select from. Upon some digging, we learned that they have made substantial changes to the way they report things like train speed and dwell time making comparisons to other Class I rails less relevant. We included them this month with a note but will determine before next month if we continue to do so. Transportation drivers begin on page 60.
  • DTC Takes to the Skies: Next month, DTC will be represented by Andy Blumenfeld and Sara Voorhees at the NCTA conference in Denver where Andy will also be speaking. In addition, we will have delegates at Platts’ Coal Marketing Days in Pittsburgh and the Coal Association of Canada event in Vancouver. Upcoming conferences can be found on page 145.