After two years, the first batch of Australian coal will arrive in China next week
According to Reuters, ship tracking data from Refinitiv and Kpler showed that on January 23, about 72,000 tons of coking coal were loaded on the bulk carrier Magic Eclipse in Hay Point, Australia, and set off for China. It is expected to arrive in Zhanjiang, Guangdong next week. According to sources, Baowu Group bought the cargo, which is the first time the ban on Australian coal has been lifted since 2020.
Another bulk carrier, the BBC Maryland, is loading about 12,000 tonnes of thermal coal from the port of Newcastle to Changshu and is scheduled to arrive on Feb. 10, Kpler data show, but it is unclear who the buyer is. Coal traders will be watching how easily the cargoes pass through customs and hope to send more Australian coal to China.
Australian thermal coal and coking coal are favored by related Chinese companies due to their high calorific value. Previously, Bloomberg reported that on the afternoon of January 3, the National Development and Reform Commission convened large-scale power and steel companies to discuss the liberalization of Australian coal imports. It will be resumed from April 1, and other companies will not be released for the time being. Reuters reported in early January that China Energy Investment Corporation had purchased at least two shipments of Australian coal, and that two other companies licensed to buy Australian coal had also placed orders.
Customs officials in five major cities in eastern and southern China said there were no specific requirements for companies importing Australian coal during the customs declaration process. However, it is unclear whether customs authorities will allow Australian coal purchased by businesses other than the four approved companies to clear customs.
Australian thermal coal with a calorific value of 5,500 kcal was assessed at around 2 a tonne fob last week, down from around 7 a tonne in early January, traders said. High-quality coking coal bound for China was assessed at around 0 a tonne last week on a cost and freight basis, up from 5 in early January.