(OilPrice) U.S. coal giants have been hit hard, unable to compete with natural gas at home, but overseas this market is getting hotter by the minute.
Illinois is a key coal state benefitting from this development, with the latest reports showing that it exported a record 13 million tons of coal last year. This is a major increase over the previous years, with only 5.5 million tons of exports in 2011 and 2.5 million tons in 2010.
So now production is back on the rise. Illinois' production is up 25% over 2011, and counting—despite that fact that US coal production in general has been down about 11%.
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U.S. coal-producing states are ready to take advantage of global markets that are starving for this cheap coal.