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Australian coal in the frontline of China’s supply glut

Coal News - Published on Fri, 12 Apr 2019

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Australian Financial Review reported that Australian coal will be hardest hit as China cuts foreign imports of its key energy source to tackle oversupply, and implements policies favouring domestic suppliers and cleaner alternatives. That’s the warning from industry officials, traders and miners, who told a major coal conference in Shanghai on Tuesday that China’s cuts to Australian coal imports would be greater than from other suppliers such as Indonesia and Russia, confirming the fears that existing restrictions and delays would drag on.

While officials denied import restrictions were politically motivated, Chinese coal traders said privately Australian exports was being targeted. One trader said Australian coal was now banned at all ports in China, but two others said the situation was unclear and coal was still getting through.

The grim outlook at the Coaltrans China conference was the latest blow for the embattled coal industry, under pressure from the environmental lobby and restrictions on foreign imports imposed by Beijing since January this year. Coal is shaping up as a key federal election issue in Australia, with the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland splitting Coalition MPS.

Mr Li Wei, managing director of Chinese state-owned enterprise Yankuang Group, which controls Yancoal of Australia, said businesspeople and politicians from both countries must work more closely together to improve the diplomatic relationship. Mr Li told The Australian Financial Review on the sidelines of the conference in a rare interview “We should have more communisation between the public, businesspeople and politicians from the two countries. Australia should [learn to put] itself into someone else’s shoes.”

However, he said he was not concerned about demand from China, saying Australia exported high-quality coal and Yancoal also exported to Japan and South Korea.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 12 Apr 2019
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