Cool summer could push U.S. coal consumption below 600 million tons—analysts

first_imgCool summer could push U.S. coal consumption below 600 million tons—analysts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Industry analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence a projected cooler summer across much of the U.S. could challenge an already struggling coal industry by muting domestic utility demand for the commodity. Coupled with weakening European and Asian thermal coal pricing, a cooler summer resulting in lower energy demand could weigh on the U.S. coal sector, the analysts said.“Every year is important for this industry,” said B. Riley FBR analyst Lucas Pipes. “I think it’s probably fair to say that given the weakness in the seaborne market at this time, stronger domestic demand is maybe more important than let’s say last year because if the export market should continue to stay challenging at current pricing levels, clearly producers have to look more towards the domestic market to balance their sales books.”Todd Crawford, senior meteorologist for IBM Business’ The Weather Company, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that he projects there will be about 9.5% less energy demand on average across the country year over year. Crawford said heavy rain and flooding in the Midwest this spring will likely result in a cooler summer, noting that temperatures in the region and into the Northwest have remained two or three degrees below average in recent weeks. He added the Southeast may have a slightly warmer summer than normal but not a significant increase.“As we look through June, we don’t see a lot of heat through the major population centers, energy demand centers, of the eastern U.S.,” Crawford said. “If there’s any big heat going on in June, it’s going to be of the [Pacific] Northwest.”Andy Blumenfeld, head of Market Analytics at Doyle Trading Consultants LLC, said some power demand data is already reflecting the effect of cooler temperatures heading into the summer. Though the U.S. had strong energy demand this winter, it has declined significantly more recently. Blumenfeld said he thinks coal burn will decrease significantly this year compared with 2018, dropping by much as 40 million tons to less than 600 million tons, a record low over the last several decades.Blumenfeld added the potential for increased summer demand from the international market could help domestic producers, given the increased use of air conditioning in other nations outside the U.S., especially in Asia. “If we do see a spike in demand that certainly will help, so that’s possibly a good-news scenario that comes out of this,” he said, “but so far we’re not seeing it in the forward pricing to a great degree. There is some upward lift, but it’s still pretty low.”More ($): Cooler summer may limit domestic opportunities for struggling coal sectorlast_img read more

Track team looks forward to Drake Relay challenges

first_imgReturning from a big weekend in California, the University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s track coaches are looking forward to the upcoming Drake Relays.Men’s head coach Ed Nuttycombe and women’s head coach Jim Stintzi will both be sending athletes to the highly anticipated meet that will take place in Des Moines, Iowa, starting this Thursday. Last weekend, the Mt. SAC Relays marked the true beginning of the intense portion of the outdoor season, and the upcoming Drake Relay’s should be no different. Long-regarded as one of the most challenging meets, the Badgers will be able to test their athletes.“We are definitely looking forward to the weekend as the Drake Relays are always a premier event,” Nuttycombe said. “It has been sold out now for 25 years, and it features a great venue that provides great competition.”Stintzi echoed Nuttycombe’s sentiments and is anxious to see his athletes perform.“There are around 40,000 people at these meets, and for our athletes, this is the only meet like that,” Stintzi said. “It’s really a who’s who of track and field in America.”While the Drake Relays certainly bestows a great atmosphere for the fans and athletes alike, it can be viewed as just another opportunity for the men and women competing to post some high marks. Nuttycombe and his squad will embrace Drake Stadium’s atmosphere, but will also look to remain focused on these crucial meets late in the outdoor season.“We are taking out a full squad, and we will look to compete well in as many events as we can,” Nuttycombe said. “This weekend is a big event for us as far it relates to the championship part of the season that is quickly approaching.”This weekend will give some of UW’s top individual performers a chance to display their talents at the high-powered event, and when asked which of his athletes have stood out, Nuttycombe mentioned a name heard quite often this season.“Nate Larkin has just been running extremely well in the hurdles for us,” Nuttycombe said. “He has been one of those athletes in the hurdles that comes in and takes a couple years to get established, and then this year, he just had a breakthrough.”In the indoor season, Larkin, a junior from Glen Ellyn, Ill., ran alongside the nation’s best after he qualified for the NCAA championships. In fact, he was one of a mere 14 hurdlers who even qualified, a testament to his work ethic and the progress he has made over the course of the season.“Qualifying for the NCAAs — that puts you in a pretty elite group,” Nuttycombe said. “His progress has been steady, and I think he is ready to join a small group of athletes here at UW who has run under 14 seconds in the hurdles.”Larkin narrowly missed an opportunity to break the 14-second mark last weekend, and he and his coaches will look for him to reach that mark some time in the very near future.“Last week he came up a little short, so hopefully this week will be a special one for him,” Nuttycombe said.Stintzi and the women’s team will not be bringing a particularly large group of athletes to the Drake Relays, but those who will be competing will certainly look to take something away from the illuminating experience.“It’s a great situation for everyone, and it gives some of the younger athletes the opportunity to compete on a bigger stage,” Stintzi said. “Its also a chance for them to pick up some things from the other great athletes we compete against.”Although several younger athletes are preparing for the big weekend that lies ahead, two more experienced members of the women’s team have been looking to improve upon their already impressive marks. At the Mt. SAC Relays both Gwen Jorgensen and Hanna Grinaker were able to post regional-qualifying times, but Stintzi wants to see more from two of his leaders on the track.“It was not a stellar performance for either one of them,” Stintzi said. “Each one of them has some work to do, Hanna in terms of the last six laps of her race and Gwen is still dealing with trying to win big races instead of just being there.”Jorgensen, a prolific distance runner, has been one of the top performers for UW all season long, and the senior will have the opportunity to compete on the national stage towards the end of the outdoor season. Stintzi knows Jorgensen has worked hard to put herself in NCAA-qualifying position and now is more concerned with her running well at the end of the season, where it matters most.“Her focus is going to be on the later part of the season,” Stintzi said. “She wants to run well this time of year, but to save it to the end.”last_img read more