China-Australia relations: China turns to US coal to fill void created by Australia import ban, offers trade deal boost



Su-Lin Tan | South China Morning Post

Coking coal exports from the United States has filled some of the void created in China by its unofficial ban on Australian exports of the commodity over the past five months as trade manipulation creates “winners and losers”, economists said.
China blocked Australian coal imports in October amid a year-long political conflict, leaving many vessels stranded off its coast, before increasing imports from the US, South Africa and Colombia having previously relied mainly on the likes of Indonesia, Russia, Mongolia and Australia. Since the ban on Australia, China’s main coal suppliers have increased or maintained their exports to China. 
And while only representing a small fraction of Australia’s pre-ban coal exports to China, the US sold nearly 300,000 tonnes of coking coal used in steel production to China in February from nearly zero in October, China customs data showed.
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