The foundations of an early 2019 bull market continued to crumble during August. The US-China trade dispute, the import quota saga, the well publicised US yield-curve inversion, and real global recessionary fears have gripped the metallurgical coal sector. As a result, prices for Australian low-volatile HCC fell by US$25/t during the month and are expected to remain weak during September. The first sign of relief is expected in mid-October when China returns to the market to meet its restocking needs after the country’s 70th anniversary celebrations at the start of the month. We expect China’s October deals to be completed using 2020 import quotas. This, together with some interest from Indian buyers, could see fundamentals tighten and prices recover into the new year.