Increasing noise on possible policy reversal: Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) reported yesterday that the Chinese government was in the preliminary stages of lifting its informal ban on Australian coal imports, but that such a move would still need to be approved by senior leaders.
There has been no official comment on the article. Given that China’s steel industry is facing rising costs of coke – up $140/t over the last four months – there may be a need to reconsider the restrictions currently in place, as alternative supply sources to Australian coking coal appear insufficient currently.
The first step in this process, we presume, would be to clear the backlog of vessels with around 5Mt of Australian coking coal, which set sail before the ban came into place in Oct 2020 and are still waiting outside China’s ports. Two vessels with Australian coal were allowed to discharge last week, which the market interpreted as a promising sign…Full Story