China’s Ban on Australian Coal Causes Surge in Imports from Mongolia, But Difficulties Remain



Su-Lin Tan | South China Morning Post

Chinese steel mills and power stations have started buying more coal from Mongolia after Beijing imposed a ban on imports from Australia, but price, quality and logistical difficulties mean it will not be easy for some users to make the switch.

While politics might have played a role in the decision to shut off Australian coking and thermal coal, the practical difficulties in doing without it may force a rethink of the ban over time, analysts said.

Coal from Mongolia, which borders China to the north, is the most obvious replacement for Australian coal, particularly due to the inability of suppliers located further away – such as the United States, Russia and Canada – to meet a short-term increase in demand, S&P Global Platts said in a recent update.

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