Chinese power stations told to avoid Australian coal in new trade threat



Nick Toscano | The Sydney Morning Herald

Australian coal exporters are facing the risk of tougher restrictions selling into China as government authorities in Beijing direct state-owned power plants to purchase domestic product instead.

The move threatens to add to escalating tensions between Australia and its largest trading partner and follows new customs reforms that analysts fear could lead China to delay cargoes of Australia’s most lucrative export, iron ore.

Analysts and industry insiders told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that the Chinese government has begun warning state-owned power utilities not to buy new cargoes of Australian thermal coal – Australia’s second top commodity export – and to purchase domestic coal instead.

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