Australian Coal Deliveries to China Under Scrutiny

The Ministry of Commerce in China stated that Chinese companies have the freedom to decide on their own when purchasing coal, based on market conditions. The ministry’s spokeswoman, Shu Jueting, emphasized that such decisions are focused on business-related factors such as production requirements and technological advancements.

This statement was made in the midst of reports that a ship carrying Australian coal to China was rerouted due to uncertainties regarding Chinese customs policies. The ship was said to have waited for five days without unloading at the eastern Chinese port of Changshu, in Jiangsu province, and was ultimately redirected to Vietnam.

In the meantime, data from S&P Global’s analysis of Commodities at Sea indicates that nine additional vessels have loaded coal at Australian ports this month and are currently en route to China. Additionally, the intelligence provider reports that three ships that sailed in January have successfully discharged some or all of their coal at Chinese ports.

Shu from the Commerce Ministry remarked that trade between China and Australia has normally been progressing, with goods trade reaching a significant $220 billion in 2022. She emphasized the need for communication and win-win solutions between the two countries. She expressed China’s commitment to protecting its companies’ interests while hoping for a fair business environment in Australia.

Officials from Australia and China are scheduled to have a meeting soon to discuss easing trade restrictions. This could potentially result in a visit by Australian trade minister Don Farrell to Beijing in the upcoming months. As per a Bloomberg report, Farrell mentioned that orders for Australian timber products are likely to be placed, along with the coal shipments that have already resumed. He was informed that Bulla Dairy Foods has received its first order from China in a couple of years and expressed optimism about China reducing its high tariffs on Australian wine.

Original News Source: South China Morning Post

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