Chinese officials propose lifting almost two-year ban on Australian coal amid Western sanctions on Russian energy
Some companies are already preparing to resume imports by replacing Russian coal with Australian coal, two other sources said.
China, which used to be a big consumer of Australian coal, introduced an unofficial ban at the end of 2020. Now, Beijing fears that European restrictions on Russian energy will increase competition for coal from China’s main suppliers, such as Indonesia. Officials are looking to increase fuel supplies to avoid a repeat of last year’s power outages.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met on July 8 for the first talks between the two countries’ top diplomats since 2019. China is ready to work to restore relations, Wang Yi said.
In the three spring months of 2022, China and India purchased oil, gas and coal from Russia for a total of $24 billion. China spent $18.9 billion on energy, nearly double the amount in the same period a year earlier.