Aussie coal industry in jeopardy as Chinese ban kicks in


Australia's $14 billion coal export industry to China has been rocked after months of import restrictions which have brought it to its knees.

Beijing has formalised its black-listing of Australia's coal exports at a high-level meeting held over the weekend, deepening a crisis for one of the nation's biggest export earners.

The National Development Reform and Commission met with major Chinese power companies on Saturday to address a surge in coal prices in the world's second biggest economy, according to state media reports.

The Commission - China's top economic planning agency - has not yet commented on the meeting, but reports by state-controlled media singled out the Australian coal industry, The Australian reports.


A coal truck in Australia. Picture: Supplied
A coal truck in Australia. Picture: Supplied

"China's top economic planner on Saturday gave approval to power plants to import coal without clearance restrictions, except for Australia," reported the Global Times.

The state-controlled paper suggested coal producers in Mongolia, Indonesia and Russia would benefit from the change in policy, which attempts to calm soaring coal prices in China.

China's National Development and Reform Commission at a meeting with 10 Chinese power plants on Saturday and reported by state media on Monday, means Australian coal will be blocked indefinitely while China ramps up imports from Mongolia, Indonesia and Russia, and expands local production.

Originally published as Aussie $14b coal industry in jeopardy as Chinese ban kicks in