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Global coal roundup: European Union price of carbon reaches 10-year high

A roundup of international coal news from Aug. 6 to Aug. 13.

China fired back in its growing trade dispute with the U.S., announcing 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of American exports, including coal, oil products and liquefied petroleum gas. Beijing's Aug. 8 announcement was likely a retaliation to the United States' Aug. 7 announcement of new duties on imported Chinese products, which also totaled $16 billion and go into effect Aug. 23. The U.S. exported nearly 2.1 million tons of coal to China in the first quarter of 2018, a 6.3% year-over-year increase from 2017, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.


The price of carbon in the European Union's emissions trading scheme hit a 10-year high, reaching €18 per tonne on Aug. 13, up about 200% from the year-ago levels, The Guardian reported. The upsurge in carbon price is due to, in part, the European Commission reforms on to cut the supply of carbon permits from January as well as the heatwave affecting large parts of Europe, The Guardian noted, adding that its continued climb would affect Germany's newly formed "coal exit commission" which is set to release a plan in 2018.

XCoal Energy & Resources Germany GmbH acquired the international coal and coke trading division of German company RAG Verkauf GmbH as the European country continues its move away from coal. The privately owned unit of U.S.-based global coal marketing and logistics company plans to continue and further expand trading in metallurgical and thermal coals as well as blast furnace and foundry coke in Europe with the former team of RAG Verkauf.


China is exploring ways to improve emission monitoring for heavy industries in certain regions over the next few years to further the country's efforts to combat smog, Reuters reported Aug. 10 citing a statement by the country's Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The country is targeting industries like steel, coal-fired power generation, coke, chemicals, as well as other heavy industries, as part of the improved monitoring project. It is also cracking down on data reporting, aiming to ensure that environmental data monitoring is as "accurate, genuine, objective and comprehensive" and looking to have monitoring institutes and staff be independent of local governments by 2020, the report said.

China imported 29.0 million tonnes of coal in July, up almost 50% from the year-ago levels and up 23.9% from June, Reuters reported Aug. 8, citing data released by the country's General Administration of Customs. Coal imports were also boosted by curbs in domestic production as the country doubles down on carbon emissions in its fight against pollution, the report said, adding that the data also signify that customs has eased checks on foreign shipments.

As of Aug. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 6.89 Chinese yuan.