After North Korea's missile test last week, China has banned shipments of coal from them. Now China buys United States coal in order to supplement the need that was created after ceasing purchase from North Korea.
This news came only a few days after President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at his Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida. It was indicated that North Korea missile tests would be a major talking point in the discussion.
China Buys United States Coal
Per the Washington Examiner:
Reuters first reported Tuesday that China's customs department ordered all companies that receive imports from North Korea to immediately return all coal cargoes, according to three trading sources who saw the order. The order was sent by the Chinese government on April 7, soon after Trump and Xi concluded their discussions.
The decision will be a boon for U.S. coal producers as China has ramped up orders of U.S. coking coal used in making steel, Reuters reported. The increase in U.S. coal imports fits nicely with Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda to put miners in coal country back to work.
According to the government's Energy Information Administration, it is very likely for coal consumption to continue growing on into the summer months.
"U.S. coal production is expected to rise this year due in part to expected higher coal-fired electricity generation," said acting EIA Administrator Howard Gruenspecht. At the same time, "the amount of electricity generated from natural gas this summer is forecast to be lower than last summer, reflecting higher natural gas prices," he said.
While natural gas is the top fuel for power generation in the United States, there are many regions where coal is on top, such as the east coast.