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Talk of exporting U.S. coal to the Pacific is on the rise as the world coal market grapples with supply problems[2][3]. With increasing demand from Asia-Pacific markets, there is growing interest in shipping U.S. western coal to the Pacific Basin[2][3]. Peabody Energy, a major U.S. coal producer, has discussed the potential for a new export facility on the West Coast to serve the Asian market[5].

U.S. thermal coal exports rose 21.1% in the first half of 2023, driven by a sharp increase in deliveries to India**[4]. The U.S. shipped 6.2 million tons of coal to India during this period, up 52.5% year-over-year[4]. Most of this volume is likely North Appalachian coal with a calorific value of NAR 6,900 kcal/kg, destined for the cement and brick kiln industries in India[4].

However, U.S. exports to key Asia-Pacific markets like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan showed signs of weakness in the first half of 2023, declining by a combined 6.3%[4]. Operational problems along the railroad leading to the Westshore terminal in Canada have also hampered export capacity this year[4].

Despite these challenges, the prospect of exporting U.S. coal to the Pacific remains an attractive option for producers seeking to diversify their markets and capitalize on growing demand in Asia. As the global coal trade continues to evolve, the U.S. is poised to play an increasingly important role in supplying the Asia-Pacific region with thermal coal.

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