Deputy PM ‘deeply concerned’ over China power plant report warns against buying Australian coal | Business | Instant News


Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack worried that coal exporters could face a more difficult time to sell commodities to China.

There are reports that the Chinese government has warned state-owned power plants not to buy new shipments of Australian thermal coal and instead choose domestic products.

McCormack said trade minister Simon Birmingham and diplomats were trying to fix the problem.

“Of course we are very concerned about that,” he told ABC on Friday.

“But we have a two-way relationship with China. China needs Australia as much as Australia needs China and we want to ensure that whatever we do is in a careful and considered manner. “

China’s cooling of Australian coal could signal the latest increase in trade tension between the two countries.

Coal exports faced a delay at the port of China last year.

Beijing has slapped a prohibited 80% tariff for Australian barley, while four big slaughterers are prohibited from sending red meat to China.

McCormack said Chinese steel mills and power plants would need high-quality Australian coal to operate.

“We want to ensure that our coal exports have a purpose.

“China has long been our customer. They know the quality of our coal, they know the quality of iron ore and other resources. “

Birmingham was ignored by his Chinese counterpart.

The Interior Minister, Peter Dutton, said the parapet was part of Chinese tactics.

“We don’t think they have a legal basis for charging this rate and we want them to change their position,” he told Nine Network.

He said Australia would stand firm in value after the push for a global coronavirus investigation stung China.

Thermal coal, which is used to produce electricity, is Australia’s second largest export to China after iron ore.

China has also announced new surveillance rules for iron ore, with opinion divided over the impact on Australian exporters.

Birmingham hopes that the changes will accelerate the entry of iron ore into China through fewer batches examined.

“The initial indication to speak with industry is that this will provide opportunities for profits for both China and Australia,” he said.

But the Global Times – considered the voice of Chinese state media – has warned that Australian iron ore imports could be adversely affected by political tensions between the two countries.

“This is another implicit warning for Australia,” Yu Lei, a chief researcher at Liaocheng University, told the newspaper.

“This is related to how Australia acts, and the general decline in steel demand at the global level.”

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