Signature Sponsor
Key China Coal Importer Buys Australia Cargo as Curbs Ease



January 8, 2023 - One of China’s biggest coal importers struck a deal for Australian cargoes and others are already in talks for purchases as curbs on imports from the producer are eased.

China Energy Investment Corp. bought at least two shipments from Australia and may purchase as many as four cargoes, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The coal will reach China in February, said the people who asked not to be named as the purchases haven’t been made public. 

China Baowu Steel Group Corp. is among other companies currently in talks over securing deliveries for the coming months, according to two of the people. 

CEIC and Baowu didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters earlier reported CEIC had placed an order for Australian coal.

Trading house Glencore Plc will supply CEIC with at least one of the shipments, one of the people said. Glencore declined to comment. 

China’s National Development and Reform Commission held talks Tuesday on proposals to allow CEIC, Baowu, and two other importers to resume purchases from Australia this year, beginning a process of easing an informal ban imposed in late 2020 as relations between Beijing and Canberra soured. 

Coal sector representatives in China are likely to discuss a further loosening of Australian curbs as industry members gather at a meeting on Jan. 12 in Beijing, according to one of the people. More companies are expected to be given clearance to buy the fuel from Australia after the initial four, people familiar with the details said earlier this week.