The Asian country improves its coal import for 2020 by about 20m tonnes but is expected to exclude Australia, which has hundreds of millions of tonnes anchored off the Chinese coast in a deepening trade dispute with Beijing.
Guardian Australia also understands China is reducing customs clearance times for Australia’s key coal export competitors, Indonesia and Russia.
On Friday, China’s ministry of commerce announced the tariffs of between 107% and 212%, in response to what it said were findings that Australian wine was being dumped in China, causing “substantial damage” to the domestic market.
But on Friday the foreign ministry suggested it was related to the deepening diplomatic rift. At a regular press conference in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the measures aligned with Chinese law, but “at the same time, mutual respect is the basis and precondition for practical cooperation between countries”.
“It is hoped that the Australian side will do more things conducive to mutual trust and cooperation as is in line with the two sides’ comprehensive strategic partnership, so as to provide conditions to bring bilateral relations back onto the right track.”
The tariffs will double or triple the retail price of Australian wine in China, and make the market unviable for exporters, Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham said on Friday. He said the move was “unjustified, and without evidence to back it up”.
Amid deteriorating relations between China and Australia, Beijing has delivered repeated hits on Australian trade. This week it was revealed that more than
60 bulk carriers, holding Australian coal bound for China, have been stranded off the Chinese coast for between four and 24 weeks, after Chinese importers were told to stop accepting Australian coal in October.
Source: D&F Shipping Market Analysis
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