There are as many coal price averages as there are coal qualities (i.e., sulfur, Btu), market types (i.e., steam coal, metallurgical or coking, industrial, export), sales conditions (i.e., spot market, extended spot market, short-term contract, long-term contract), sales locations and included costs (i.e., FOB--Free on Board the mine, railcar, river terminal, export terminal, FAS--Free Along Side, CIF--Cargo Cost/Insurance Freight, total delivered cost). Within each of these ways to sell coal, there are wide price ranges.
|Average Value of Kentucky Coal FOB Mine, 2004 (dollars per ton)|
Electric Utility Consumption of Coal, 2004
The U.S. electric power plant sector reported a record level of 1,016.3 billion tons of coal during 2004. The average delivered price of coal to electric utilities was $27.30 per ton.
Almost 92% of all coal consumed in the U.S. was in the electric power sector, the driving force for all coal consumption. Coal consumption in the U.S. electric power sector increased by 11.2 million tons over 2003. Ninety-one percent of Kentucky's electric power generation came from coal in 2005, while 3.6% came from petroleum coke, 3.1% from hydro, 1.8% from natural gas, 0.4% from renewables and 0.1% from petroleum.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Yearbook, 1976, U.S. DOE, Bituminous Coal and Lignite Production and Mine Operations, 1977-1978, and Coal Production, 1979-1992, DOE-EIA, Coal Data; A Reference, May, 1989, and Coal Industry Annual, 1993-2004.