* U.S. thermal coal exports dropped 18.1% year over year in the first half of 2019, partially due to a decline in the price of coal being sold into Northern Europe. Platts' CIF ARA assessment for 6,000 kcal/kg NAR coal delivered in Northern Europe was $85.70/t in January and dropped 47% to $45/t on June 19. An oversupply of coal, lack of European demand, higher carbon prices and plenty of natural gas are hurting prices.
China: Chinese imports of Australian metallurgical coal doubled from about 1.4 million tonnes in May to 2.8 million tonnes in June, Reuters reported July 28. Imports in June were down year over year from 3.2 million tonnes due to Chinese customs' higher restrictions on coal cargoes.
India: Fiscal 2019 thermal coal imports in India may reach up to 185 million tonnes, a 13% increase compared with an estimate of fiscal 2018 imports, Reuters reported July 30.
* Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India held protests demanding safety audits on coal mines after a recent deadly accident, Reuters reported July 29. The protests halted production at one of the nation's largest coalfields in the state of Odisha as rescue officials recovered the bodies of workers who were trapped inside a mine following a landslide.
Indonesia: The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources increased its August reference price on steam coal by 1% from July to $72.67/mt, S&P Global Platts reported. The reference price, otherwise known as Harga Batubara Acuan or HBA, was down 32.6% from August 2018.
* Peabody Energy Corp. announced that Marc Hathhorn will assume the role of president of Australian operations effective Aug. 7. He will replace George Schuller Jr. following his appointment to COO of Compass Minerals International Inc. Hathhorn has worked for Peabody for nearly nine years and has served as group executive of Americas operations.
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