Fri, 30 Oct 2020

Beijing [China], October 13 (ANI): China's ban on Australian thermal and coking coal imports is likely to remain in place indefinitely amid deteriorating relations between the two nations, The South China Morning Post reported citing analysts.

China had communicated the ban verbally, which has left several Australian vessels stranded at Chinese ports.

Commodities analysts believe that the informal approach was politically motivated though it also aligned with tightening coal import quotas and Beijing's goal to reduce consumption and carbon emissions.

Coal import quotas at some Chinese ports have now been exhausted for 2020.

"There are several vessels carrying Australian coal waiting at Chinese ports for more than a month now as generally custom clearances have been very slow," said Deepak Kannan, a thermal coal analyst SP Global Platts.

"Indications from sources are that the number of vessels waiting at Chinese ports has increased quite a bit of late. Some reports have suggested that as much as 7 million tonnes of coal are on board vessels waiting along the Chinese coast, up from the usual 4 to 5 million tonnes normally seen during this period of time along the coast."Chinese state-owned utilities including Huaneng Power International, Datang International Power Generation Company, Huadian Power International and Zhejiang Electric Power were notified of the import suspension, SP Global Platts said. One of the utilities cancelled an order for high-ash 5,500 kcal/kg NAR Australian coal.

The ban comes at the time when Chinese and Australian relations have deteriorated after Canberra called in April for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus without first consulting Beijing.

Beijing has since imposed a large anti-dumping duty on Australian barley, banned beef exports from five abattoirs and instigated anti-dumping and subsidy investigations into cheap Australian wine in China. (ANI)

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