More proof that the energy of the future remains coal: U.S. production in 2011 increased 2.5 percent to roughly 1.1 billion short tons thanks to strong export demand, according to the Annual Coal Report released yesterday.
In addition, the total number of mines in the United States increased 3.1 percent in 2011.
Consumption was also up 1.6 percent for the smelting industry, which used 21.4 million short tons of coke. Consumption of steam coal for electricity did fall off 4.4 percent.
Here's the production data in graph form. As you can see, the line is showing no sign of trending southward:
Finally, the average sales price of coal increased 15.2 percent to $41.01 per short ton.
Coal stocks were flat in late-morning trading.
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