* Lowest since 2016
* COVID-19 cuts industrial activity, thermal coal demand
Global miner Glencore Plc and Japan’s Tohoku Electric Power agreed on a price of $68.75 per tonne for thermal coal from Australia for the year through March 2021, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
The price, which serves as an industry benchmark for supplies of seaborne thermal coal in Asia, was 27% lower than the $94.75 a tonne agreed last year and the lowest since their April-March annual deal in 2016.
Tohoku declined to comment on the deal and Glencore could not be reached for comment.
The sharp decline from a year earlier came as the coronavirus pandemic choked off global industry activity, slashing demand for thermal coal.