Coal output, consumption expected to rise

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Coal production in the United States is predicted to rise 2.3 percent next year to 844 million tons, but the National Coal Association said in its annual forecast that consumption of US coal here and abroad will exceed that growth. Consumption was forecast to grow to 837 million tons from this year's anticipated 799 million tons, a 4.8 percent jump compared with 7.7 percent this year. Demand for US coal here and overseas this year was brisker than expected and was spurred by the surge in oil prices.

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