European coal consumers continue to enjoy low prices for thermal and coking coal at present. At the time of writing, the price of thermal coal delivered ex-ship at the ARA (Antwerp–Rotterdam–Amsterdam) ports has slumped to the lowest level since the start of 2015. Traders have been very active amid these conditions, but it seems this has contributed

to driving down prices further. Coal stocks on the pads at Rotterdam have been decreasing and demand from inland customers is understood to be largely satisfied. The higher costs of barging on the Rhine have been falling as a consequence of this and some increase in water levels has allowed boats to be filled to a higher tonnage.