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Australia plays down China coal tensions

Nasim : risingbd.com
 
     
Publish on: 2019-02-22 11:52:21 AM     ||     Updated: 2019-02-22 10:10:48 PM

International Desk: The Australian government says it is seeking an "urgent" clarification from Beijing over reports that a major Chinese port has halted imports of Australian coal.

Australia is a top supplier of coal to China, its biggest export market.

Beijing has not confirmed the reported halt in the port of Dalian, but called changes in such arrangements "normal".

Canberra sought to play down speculation on Friday that the matter may be linked to bilateral tensions.

Australian officials said there was "confusion" over the situation, and they were consulting their Chinese counterparts.

"I wouldn't jump to conclusions. The Australia-China trading relationship is exceptionally strong," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that China's Dalian port region would not allow Australian coal to pass through customs.

The news agency quoted officials as saying that only Australian coal had been affected, with no limits placed on Indonesian and Russian shipments.

It said other Chinese ports had delayed Australian coal shipments in recent months.

Australian trade officials said they had been notified of recent industry concerns about market access.

Agencies


risingbd/Dhaka/Feb 21, 2019/Nasim