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World China to Allow Australian Coal Cargo Ashore Despite Ban

13:05  03 december  2020
13:05  03 december  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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China is set to allow a shipment of Australian coal into the country, according to a person familiar with the matter, despite a ban on such imports remaining in place as tensions between Beijing and Canberra escalate. A cargo of 135,000 tons of Australian thermal coal on the vessel Alpha Era

The Australian government infuriated China with its early and vocal calls for a global independent investigation into the origin and early handling of the coronavirus – a step Beijing took as being aimed against it. Government figures show Australia exported .3bn of coal to China in the first six

(Bloomberg) -- China is set to allow a shipment of Australian coal into the country, according to a person familiar with the matter, despite a ban on such imports remaining in place as tensions between Beijing and Canberra escalate.

a large building in the background: A bucket-wheel reclaimer stands next to a pile of coal at the Port of Newcastle in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned last month that if power generators don't commit to building 1,000 megawatts of gas-fired generation capacity by April to replace a coal plant set to close in 2023, the pro fossil-fuel government would do so itself. © Bloomberg A bucket-wheel reclaimer stands next to a pile of coal at the Port of Newcastle in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned last month that if power generators don't commit to building 1,000 megawatts of gas-fired generation capacity by April to replace a coal plant set to close in 2023, the pro fossil-fuel government would do so itself.

A cargo of 135,000 tons of Australian thermal coal on the vessel Alpha Era, which has been waiting since late May to unload at the southern Chinese port of Fangchenggang, is expected to clear customs and is bound for a local user, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It isn’t clear why the cargo is expected to clear customs, said the person.

Australia Seeks to Break China Coal Stalemate as Tensions Rise

  Australia Seeks to Break China Coal Stalemate as Tensions Rise Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’s appointed his “best people” to work on breaking a stalemate that’s seen more than 50 ships laden with Australian coal stranded off Chinese ports, as tensions between the trading partners increase. © Bloomberg A freight train transports coal from the Gunnedah Coal Handling and Prepararation Plant, operated by Whitehaven Coal Ltd., in Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.

China 's Coal Import Ban Has More Bark Than Bite. When it comes to critical commodities, Beijing rarely follows through on its threats. Or last year, when China blocked imports of Australian coal and then stopped buying Australian coal ? Yeah, me neither. That’s the way to think about Beijing’s

Despite China not yet confirming the ban , analysts and industry insiders told the SMH that Beijing has warned state-owned power plants to not purchase Australian coal . News began to circulate among traders following a meeting of China 's National Development and Reform Commission.

A separate person familiar with the ban on Australian coal, though not the Alpha Era cargo, said the order barring such shipments remained unchanged. The person with knowledge of the Alpha Era said customs didn’t explain why they were processing the cargo.

While it remains unclear why an exception seems to have been made for the Alpha Era cargo, the shipment did arrive at Fangchenggang in late May. That’s about five months before Chinese officials verbally ordered traders to stop purchasing Australian coal.

Two other ships, the Dong-A Eos and the Dong-A Astrea, recently completed unloading Australian coal at the port of Jingtang, while a third vessel, the Dong-A Oknos, is in the process, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. It’s not clear if those cargoes will also be cleared by customs.

China sharply ramps up trade conflict with Australia over political grievances

  China sharply ramps up trade conflict with Australia over political grievances Beijing imposed tariffs of up to 200 percent on Australian wine, escalating a dispute that its officials have made clear is over unmet political demands. Beijing on Friday announced new tariffs of up to 200 percent on Australian wine, which the country’s trade minister said could make business “unviable” for a $3 billion industry that sends 40 percent of its exports to China. The move adds wine to a growing list of Australian exports that have been targeted by Chinese authorities this year. Other products that have faced trade barriers include coal, timber, seafood and barley, totaling about $20 billion.

There are reports that China has banned Australian coal exports from entering a major northern Chinese port, and investors are more than a little worried that it could lead to an escalating in tensions between the two nations. According to Reuters, the port of Dalian has slapped an indefinite ban on

China has told some of its state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop importing Australian coals with immediate effect, injecting more uncertainty into its spot A major northeast China state-owned steel producer received verbal notice of the ban this afternoon, but with few details available.

The vessels were part of a flotilla of more than 50 ships that have been waiting at least a month to offload coal from Australia, according to separate analysis of shipping data conducted by Bloomberg and Kpler last month. Chinese coal supplies have been limited in recent weeks amid safety checks at domestic mines and a Covid-19 outbreak that slowed truck deliveries from Mongolia.

Commodities Blacklist

“The speed of domestic coal price increases in China will to some extent decide how soon we could expect more Australia coal shipments to be discharged,” said Monica Zhu, a dry bulk analyst with Kpler.

Thermal coal for January delivery dropped from a record high on Thursday, falling as much as much as 3.6% on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange. Coking coal decreased from a four-year high, dropping as much as 1.8% on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.

Spokespeople for the Tangshan Port Group, which operates the Jingtang terminal, and the Beibu Gulf Port Group, which operates the Fangchenggang facility, declined to comment. China customs didn’t immediately respond to a fax seeking comment.

China’s Clash With Australia Risks Backfiring Among U.S. Allies

  China’s Clash With Australia Risks Backfiring Among U.S. Allies China’s economic offensive against Australia is partly designed to warn countries against vocally opposing Beijing’s interests, particularly with Joe Biden looking to unite U.S. allies. Yet it’s already showing signs of backfiring. China last week imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 212% on Australian wine, the latest in a slew of measures curbing imports from coal to copper to barley. Tensions escalated further on Monday after a Chinese Foreign Ministry official tweeted a fake photo of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.

China has reportedly banned imports of Australian thermal and coking coal , leaving some Australian vessels stuck at Chinese ports. Analysts say the move is likely politically motivated, but aligns with China ’s efforts to reduce pollution and consolidate the coal sector.

A major port in northern China has reportedly banned coal imports from Australia — in a sign that Beijing may be flexing its economic muscles and China ’s foreign ministry wouldn’t say if it was specifically targeting Australia , only that it regularly inspects coal imports for environmental reasons.

China has blacklisted a wide swathe of Australian commodities and foodstuffs, spoiling relations between the two trading partners that have deteriorated since Huawei Technologies Co. was barred from building Australia’s 5G network in 2018. Chinese power stations and steel mills were told to stop using Australian coal and ports were instructed not to offload the fuel, Bloomberg News reported in October.

“China-Australia trade tensions may peak soon we believe, as they have raised prices for key global commodities to Chinese consumers,” Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst Daniel Kang said in a note Thursday.

(Updates with price moves in 8th paragraph)

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