Asia report: Most markets higher, Aussie coal miners suffer

AUD  USD Sinks as China's Dalian Port Bans Australian Coal Imports

He said a report by the Reuters news agency saying that ports in the northern Chinese city of Dalian had banned imports of Australian coal was "not true".

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Chinese customs conducts risk monitoring and analysis on the safety and quality of imported coal.

The pair initially got a minor boost from a stronger than expected Aussie jobs report but then came under some intense selling pressure after China moved to ban Australian coal imports at its Dalian port.

Five harbours overseen by Dalian customs - Dalian, Bayuquan, Panjin, Dandong and Beiliang - will not allow Australian coal to clear through customs, said the official, however coal imports from Russian Federation and Indonesia will not be affected.

To make up for any shortfall in Australian coal for power generation, known as thermal coal, traders said there was ample domestic supply, and also the option to import from Mongolia and Indonesia.

While Dalian only takes about 2% of Australia's coal exports, such a ban would mark a deterioration in often strained relations between the key trading partners.

"If you look at the volume and the value of our coal exports to China and in the last quarter of 2018, it was higher in the same period previous year and the coal exports underpin more than 50,000 jobs and $60bn of exports, so they will continue to be strong and robust". Shipments were now taking more than 40 days to clear customs instead of around 20 previously. A media official at Dalian Port Group declined to comment.

CENTRAL Queensland coal is at the heart of high-level global talks between Australia and China.

Blocking "a couple of months of coal exports" would not hurt the Australian economy, said Philip Lowe.

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"Use of more high sulfur (1.8% total sulfur) premium HCCs such as Luilin #9, blended with Mongolian second tier HCCs such as the #3 product to produce a tier 1 coke".

However potentially dominating the attention of AUD investors next week will be the state of US-China trade talks, with the US now set to increases tariffs next Friday unless there is some kind of Breakthrough.

The move is not the first time China has restricted coal imports. "This has been confirmed by our own conversations with buyers in China".

"It has crystallised the fear that something is going on, that China is targeting Australian coal", he said.

"People should be careful about leaping to conclusions about this", Morrison told journalists in Auckland.

"We will, of course, continue to engage with those local ports and those authorities and work through the same regulatory issues that we have worked through in the past", he said.

"The potential political nature of this targeted ban after a number of bilateral issues have surfaced. may be reminiscent of the impediments to Mongolia's coal exports to China after the Dalai Lama visit in 2016", USA bank Citi said on Friday in a note.

"There's a bit of a political issue" related to delays processing Australian coal cargoes, Glencore's CEO Ivan Glasenberg told analysts on Wednesday after the release of t he compa ny's f i na ncial results. "We have to wait to see what the underlying reasons are", he said at a parliamentary hearing in Sydney.

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