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China’s reported ban on Australian coal a $14 billion hit

Article image for China’s reported ban on Australian coal a $14 billion hit

China’s state owned media outlet The Global Times have confirmed a ban on Australian coal.

The report indicates that power plants have been instructed not to buy Australian coal, and instead import from Mongolia, Indonesia and Russia.

China Correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald Eryk Bagshaw told 6PR’s Gary Adshead the resource is Australia’s third largest export to China and is worth $14 billion a year.

“This would be the largest hit to any export that Australia delivers to date.”

It’s the latest in a series of trade issues, as tensions continue to grow between Australia and China.

“It’s stopped Australian coal for months now from coming in to china, we’ve had dozens of ships, hundreds of sailors ,and up to about a billion dollars worth of Australian coal stuck outside china,” Bagshaw said.

“The report overnight in Chinese state media suggests that, that ban has now become formalized, and we may now have an indefinite restriction on Australian coal going into china.”

Bagshaw told 6PR Mornings the coal, which is currently stuck off the Chinese coastline, has already been purchased by Chinese importers.

“It’s not the Australian exporters that’s wearing the cost of that, it’s the Chinese importers, so that tells you how serious this situation is.”

In a press conference this morning Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had not received formal notification of the ban.

“Those reports have not been clarified by the Chinese government, so until we are in a position to have that clarified then we can only treat these as media speculation,” The Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister labelled it as a “lose-lose” situation.

“The other countries have 50 per cent higher emissions than Australian coal, and as a result that would be a bad outcome for the environment, it would be a bad outcome for the trading relationship.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images)

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