In an Effort to Move Past Years of Bilateral Animosity, Australia Is Supplying More Coal to China

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Australia is shipping more coal to China after rocky bilateral relations under the former conservative government. This is just the latest development in increased trade between Australia and China.

Both countries look to move past years of acrimony and build stronger economic and diplomatic ties.

Coal Trade Between Aus and China

More than 630,000 tonnes of coking and thermal coal were loaded across six vessels in eastern Australia in the past two weeks, bound for Chinese ports as Beijing further eased its informal coal ban.

This is yet another sign of a thawing relationship between the two countries, which had experienced a period of heightened tensions under the previous conservative government.

“Out of six cargoes, there are four cargoes from the world’s biggest miner Glencore,” Shukla said.

S&P Global Commodities at Sea data showed that two vessels, Tiger East and Magic Eclipse, had successfully made the voyage from eastern Australia to the southern Chinese ports of Guangzhou and Zhanjiang, respectively, in the last two days carrying two separate consignments.

Tiger East is laden with about 68,000 tonnes of thermal coal from miner Glencore, which produces coal for domestic and export markets. On the other hand, Magic Eclipse carries about 73,000 tonnes of coking coal sold by mining company BHP Mitsubishi Alliance.

Analysts, however, note that the docking of these cargoes at China’s ports and the increasing volumes shipped would determine if trade relations have indeed thawed despite the ban being removed. While the increased activity is a sign of progress in bilateral ties, analysts suggest caution in reading too much into it as tangible results are yet to be seen.

The cooperation between Australia and China is considered a significant step towards improving bilateral ties between the two nations. With continued efforts from both sides, it is hoped that they will be able to build strong trade relations that will benefit both parties going forward.

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