canberra [Australia]Feb 20 (ANI): The Australian coal producer ban has been at the heart of a diplomatic row that has lasted for more than two years, causing “economic pain”, News.com.au reports.
New Hope Group, one of the coal producers, confirmed that it had been approached by several Chinese buyers over the past month to buy coal.
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In early 2020 or since the outbreak of Covid-19, China has imposed a number of bans on Australian products, including iron ore, wine and beef, after then Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
While the coal ban was never formally enacted, over the past two years China has imposed a shadow ban on Australian resources, placing them on an invisible blacklist.
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According to news.com.au, China took the move to keep the Australian economy in trouble, but now that Beijing has lifted the ban, the situation has changed.
Unconfirmed reports first surfaced in early January that China was easing its coal ban.
The Chinese Communist Party reportedly allowed four major importers, including Baowu, the country’s largest steelmaker, to buy Australian coal in the first week of January.
The Chinese manufacturer, as well as Brisbane-based New Hope, have also approached several other Australian mining companies, which did not want to be named, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
In a statement to news.com.au, a New Hope Corporation spokesperson said they had “seen a significant increase in inquiries from Chinese buyers over the past month”.
But in an awkward moment for China, the Australian mining company is reluctant to supply them with coal – as their coal is being shipped elsewhere, including the disputed Chinese territory and China’s enemy Taiwan, news.com.au reports. .
“The group’s current production is still fully contracted to existing customers, including long-term international customers in Japan and Taiwan,” a New Hope spokesman said.
Before the trade issue between the two countries, China used to buy coal from Australia, generating $13 billion in revenue for the latter, according to 2019 figures. Then it dried up almost overnight in 2020.
However, Australia quickly rebounded after finding alternative markets in India, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, according to news.com.au.
The soaring prices have left Australian coal companies handsomely profitable, with revenue from the material tripling to $68 billion in the 2021-2022 financial year. (Arnie)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)