first_imgSlumping prices mean trouble for U.S. thermal coal exporters FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Wall Street Journal ($):Thermal-coal prices have tumbled to multiyear lows amid slumping global demand for the commodity, the world’s top source of electricity. Miners exporting from the U.S., which have benefited from growing foreign orders in recent years, are among the hardest hit.As the market softens, they are struggling to compete with mining giants from places such as Australia, because it is more time-consuming and costly for U.S. miners to ship their coal to key markets. The selloff is hurting an industry President Trump promised to revive as a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.Exports from the East Coast sold for $46.12 a metric ton on Tuesday, down 26% in a month, according to S&P Global Platts. That is roughly half where the commodity traded in mid-2018, although it is up from a trough of $42 a ton last week.There are several reasons for the rout, not least a seasonal lull as the Northern Hemisphere warms up after the winter. Prices for liquefied natural gas, a cleaner energy source, have slumped to roughly three-year lows, according to S&P Global Platts. That has enabled power producers that use both fuels to prioritize gas.Meanwhile, demand has waned in key markets. In Asia, Japanese buyers have locked in supplies with long-term contracts, Chinese utilities are buying more local coal and generating more power from gas and water, and South Korea has raised taxes on coal imports. In Europe, too, weak industrial output means less power consumption, while LNG output has jumped. BMO Capital Markets analyst Colin Hamilton said soft demand in Europe was the main weak point for the market globally.Should coal prices stay low, U.S. exports would probably shrink quickly, analysts say.More ($): A chill descends on the coal marketlast_img read more

first_img Clippers’ rhythm is missing but their spirits strong before playoff opener AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersSo they rebuilt and rebuilt and rebuilt until the Bulls’ run was over, after which …Nothing.The Western Conference won nine of the next 12 NBA titles until summer 2010 when LeBron left to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, turning the Heat into a West-caliber powerhouse for four seasons. The West won again in 2011, but Miami reached the first of four straight NBA Finals that June, winning in 2012 and 2013 before losing in 2014 … then LeBron decided to go home again.The Cavs are now on a three-year run … possibly going on four … seeing how close they can come to the Warriors.The answer: Not very. The Warriors won 4-2 in 2015; 4-1 in 2017; and led, 3-1 in 2016, before Draymond Green got himself suspended for Game 5 for a low blow. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, nothing’s happening.At least, that’s “nothing” in the sense of producing a legitimate contender, as teams in the NBA Finals should be, rather than a darkhorses trying to shock the world like the Cavaliers and Celtics, whether they play the Rockets or Warriors.Of course, on the 20th anniversary of the end of Michael Jordan’s heyday in Chicago, we’re used to a balance of power that’s like a teeter-totter with a child at one end and Shaquille O’Neal at the other.By 1998, when the Bulls won their sixth title in Jordan’s last six full seasons there, Eastern teams were supposedly hard at work preparing for the day that Mike left. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers I ran into him at the 2008 Pac-12 Tournament at Staples Center and spent the day watching the games with him. I wasn’t sticking around to see Stanford at night, but he asked me to take a look at Robin Lopez.I watched on TV. Robin was big, tough and hard-working, if hardly as smooth as his twin, Brook. I thought he was at least an NBA backup, which I told Danny the next day.“Really?” he said. “I didn’t think so.”I forgot it until draft day, when I heard Ainge was trying to trade up to get Robin until Phoenix nabbed him at No. 15.I later told the story to a Boston sports writer. That’s Danny, he said.You go, Danny. As the Sundance Kid says to Butch Cassidy, “Keep thinking Butch. It’s what you’re good at.”Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published weekly for the Southern California News Group throughout the NBA season. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Clippers rookies key overtime victory over Oklahoma City Now LeBron might soon leave Cleveland … and likely move West where the teams thought to be his top choices (Lakers, Rockets) are.That leaves Boston – or it will when Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return healthy next season and they’re the real deals instead of a bunch of kids on a storybook run.In the meantime, the Celtics are having the run of their dreams … not that they’re about to win their long-awaited 18th title (awaiting, or expecting, is what rabid Celtics fans do best) but because the future’s so bright, they won’t care how and when this storybook run ends.This miracle comes courtesy of GM Danny Ainge, who is not their first executive to pattern himself after Red Auerbach – M.L. Carr, a disaster, did, and Rick Pitino settled for demanding the venerable Auerbach’s title as president – but is the first to succeed.Ainge arrived in 2003, taking as his first mission the dismantling of what was left from Pitino. He traded Antoine Walker, who said he shot so many 3-pointers “because there are no fours,” and fired Pitino disciple Jim O’Brien, who had coached them to two playoff appearances.Ainge, who was often booed on sight at games, then embarked on the greatest run in NBA administrative history since Jerry West ran the Lakers.2007 – After a 24-58 finish allowed them to hope to get the No. 1 pick and either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, they draw No. 5 – at which point Ainge and Coach Doc Rivers, watching in Boston, all but sag into each others’ arms. … Ainge then acquires Ray Allen from Seattle, giving him the leverage to persuade Kevin Garnett to accept a trade from Minnesota (even if the Lakers swear to this day they made a better offer but were rebuffed by Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale, a known Laker hater.) … KG and Allen join Paul Pierce, trouncing the Lakers in five games to win the 2008 title and reaching a Game 7 in the 2010 Finals when they led the Lakers by 11 points in the third quarter before falling.2013 – Coming off a 41-40 season and with Rivers leaving for the Clippers, Ainge hires Butler coach Brad Stevens, a radical choice in a league in which stars such as James often prefer to play for former NBA players.Ainge’s masterpiece, or the dumbest trade in NBA history, or both, takes place later that summer: The Nets send Boston their No. 1 picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and the right to swap picks in 2017 for Pierce, 36, and KG, 37.2015 – Ainge acquires Isiah Thomas, a sawed-off (5-foot-9, listed) scorer from Phoenix where he hasn’t fit with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dagic, in exchange for on-his-way-out Marcus Thornton. Thomas becomes a sawed-off franchise player, leading the Celtics to the best record in the East last season.2017 – With Thomas’ playoffs ended early by hip surgery, Ainge deals him to Cleveland for Irving, who has asked to be traded a year after making the title-winning shot in Game 7, presumably because he knows LeBron is likely to leave when his contract runs out this summer.Ainge signs free agent Hayward to play for his old college coach but sees him go down for the season five minutes into his Celtics debut … to be followed by Irving, who suffered a season-ending injury in early March.By now this season should have been long over and forgotten, except for the breakouts by young players: Jaylen Brown averaged 18 points in the first round, rookie Jayson Tatum averaged 24 in the second and Terry Rozier, who had never started an NBA game before taking over for Irving, is averaging 18 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds in the playoffs.With two more first-round picks in addition to their own this year and next, if Kawhi Leonard is getting traded, it figures to be here for a package of picks and prospects only Ainge could offer.It’s not surprising, if you know Ainge, who is boyish, charming … and always trying to think of ways to out-smart people.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more