From the story - The export spigot for coal is beginning to close.
In a troubling sign for U.S. coal producers, shipments fell 31% in April from the prior month, driven largely by an oversupply in Asia for metallurgical coal used in steelmaking. U.S. producers are now at a further disadvantage to overseas competitors because weakening metallurgical-coal prices are making high-cost U.S. production less profitable for export.
U.S. coal exports hit a record last year of 126 million short tons and, until recently, many experts thought they would top that this year. Mr. Thrasher now expects exports to be down 10% to 15% this year from 2012.
Then the usual talk about mine closings, but this time in Australia, where the costs to mine met coal is a lot lower than in the US, and the cost to ship the coal to China is lower.