Resumed After A Long Pause, China Decided To Continue Australian Coal Imports

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China has made a landmark decision, allowing four companies to resume imports of Australian coal into the country. The news follows a two-year-long ban on such imports, including coal and wine, which had seen China’s energy industry grapple with shortages and economic difficulties due to their reliance on the resource. 

The announcement from the Chinese government comes shortly after months of complex negotiations between the two countries after Australia had introduced various measures to address concerns about security and human rights issues. It is seen as a positive sign that the two nations are progressing in resolving their differences. 

Australia used to be the second largest coal supplier to China before the ban, accounting for nearly 30% of China’s coal imports or more than 70 million tonnes of supply. Chinese buyers favour high-quality thermal coal and coking coal,” said Reuters.

The four companies that will be able to continue imports of Australian coal include China Datang Corp., China Energy Investment Corporation, China Huaneng Group and China Baowu Steel Corporation. These four firms are some of the biggest energy suppliers in China and had previously suspended imports due to the ban. 

Australian thermal coal with a heating value of 5,500 kilocalories was traded at about $135 a tonne on a free-on-board basis as of Jan. 3 and is assessed to be traded at around 1,150 yuan ($167.18) a tonne when reaching China” Reuters added.

The news is expected to positively impact both sides’ economies, with Australia set to benefit from increased coal exports. In contrast, China can expect an increase in domestic coal production to meet the increased demand. The move is also likely to be welcomed by other countries that rely on Chinese coal imports, as the country could now divert more of its imported coal towards them. 

The agreement between China and Australia is seen as a positive sign that both countries are willing to cooperate in addressing their differences.

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