China-Australia relations: Beijing may feel pressure to lift coal bans amid dearth of steel materials



Su-Lin Tan | South China Morning Post

China may come under pressure to lift its ban on Australian coking coal and copper concentrates amid dwindling supplies of high quality raw materials, analysts said, although there are few signs that Chinese authorities are willing to relent just yet.

Australia is known for its premium hard coking coal, a crucial raw material for steel making.

Since October’s unofficial ban on both coking and thermal coal, steel mills, which are especially reliant on Australia’s hard coking coal variety, have resorted to using either more expensive coal of equal quality from countries like the United States, Russia, Canada and Mongolia, or lower quality coal
from its own mines and other sources.
Pressure has built on steel mills’ profit margins, while concerns over the low quality of steel output have risen, as a result of using inferior coking coal.
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