(EnergyAsia, February 15 2013, Friday) — The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the nation’s delivered coal prices to continue rising over the next two years.

After averaging US$2.39 per million British thermal unit (BTU) in 2011, US coal prices edged up a penny to US$2.40 last year.

The agency expects prices to rise to US$2.41 this year and US$2.45 in 2014 on improving economic conditions and better demand for coal for power generation. Rising domestic demand will cause US coal exports to fall to 108 million short tons (mmst) this year from last year’s record 124 mmst.

In its latest monthly report, the EIA said domestic coal production fell by 6.9% in 2012 and will decline by an additional 1.2% this year. Production will recover to grow by 2% in 2014.