Coal miners are pleading with the Morrison government to work with Beijing to secure an urgent removal of any restrictions targeting Australian coal imports in China and restore stability to the two countries’ long-term trading relationship.
After Chinese state-run media reported a group of 10 power plants had been given permission to import coal cargoes from all countries except Australia, shares in ASX-listed coal producers fell on Tuesday. Yancoal shed 8.4 per cent, Whitehaven lost 5.8 per cent and New Hope lost 2.7 per cent. Coal port owner Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, which floated on the ASX last week, dropped another 5.4 per cent.
The news of the official instruction comes as Australian coal shippers have faced heightened import restrictions in China since May. Coinciding with a souring of diplomatic relations between Canberra and Beijing over calls for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, the Chinese government began verbally instructing power stations to buy local, Russian and Indonesian coal instead of Australian coal.