Level info – AU – Labor fears a humanitarian crisis on Australian coal ships stranded off China


Opposition urges the Morrison administration to work to repair relations with Beijing as exporters face a « grim » year

Australian exporters face another « grim » year fueled by tension with China, while a stalemate of more than 70 ships stranded with Australian coal on board could spark an international humanitarian crisis, the opposition said

While the Shadow Trade Secretary Madeleine King warned of rising economic costs to Australia, she urged the Morrison administration to take a step to re-establish the relationship by promising « deeply offensive rhetoric against China » by some MPs in the back bench exterminate

The government is urging China to fix delays in clearing Australian coal and has also raised concerns about the well-being of seafarers who have been stuck on ships for months

In the recent blow to Australian coal exports to China, valued at $ 14 billion USD per year, the Australian newspaper reported on Thursday that Beijing had the owners of nearly 8 million Tons of Australian coal on board 73 waiting ships said they should find new buyers because the cargo is not being unloaded in China

Australian coal companies are typically paid when the product leaves Australia So it is up to the buyers to find a new home for the coal that has already been shipped. However, there may be ramifications for Australian coal companies as the stalemate undermines trade security with China

According to the investment bank UBS, exports from the four major coal ports of Queensland fell 10% in December compared to the same period last year

The ports – Abbot Point, Gladstone, Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay – have been well below capacity year-round, bringing all of the coal shipped last year down to 2017 levels

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the Australian government had made a number of statements to the Chinese government delaying processing Australian coal, most recently on Wednesday

« The Chinese government is aware of our concerns about the delays in processing Australian coal and the welfare of the crew on ships carrying Australian coal, » Tehan said in a statement

Tehan said the current impasse included « private trade deals » and Australia urged « all parties to find a solution as soon as possible »

King said she was « hugely concerned » about the coal gridlock and, more generally, about the apparent lack of a plan to restore Australia’s economic ties with its largest trading partner

« The most immediate people affected by this are the 1500 seafarers caught on ships containing Australian coal that was sold to China and is now looking for another home, « the opposition trade spokesman told Guardian Australia

« I fear a humanitarian crisis is brewing off the coast of China, given the number of nationalities involved in the maritime industry, if this stalemate is not resolved, this will become an international problem »

King said that if the government is unable to put relations with China on a better footing anytime soon, « there will be dire consequences for our economy »

« If we miss the new wave of Chinese growth, we will miss the growth for our future prosperity »

King acknowledged the situation was difficult given that Australian ministers were unable to make calls with their Chinese counterparts, and provided support to the government on national security issues – such as curbing foreign interference the blocking of the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from the 5G network

But she said the coalition could signal the importance it attaches to the relationship by curtailing the anti-China rhetoric of some of its backers

Miner Whitehaven Coal said Thursday that as a result of the Australian thermal coal ban, China is instead turning to domestically produced coal and more expensive Russian, Indonesian and South African coal

« China’s restrictions have changed the flow of trade in sea coal, where Australian coal is no longer shipped to China but is now finding customers in alternative destinations such as India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and traded coal that has historically been shipped to these markets, their way to China, « the company said in a trade update

The prices for thermal coal, which is used to generate electricity, have been supported by disruptions in supply and booming demand from the rest of Asia

However, prices for the higher-quality metallurgical coal used in steel production remain « weak in the absence of Chinese buyers, » Whitehaven


Whitehaven generates only about 2% of its sales with sales to China, said analysts of the Macquarie Group in a message to customers with

Thermal coal prices in China were about $ 20 per tonne higher than elsewhere in December due to the ban, analysts said

Chris Richardson, partner at Deloitte Access Economics, said trade tensions have harmed China far more in many ways than it did us

« That doesn’t mean there will be a short-term solution, but at some point China would have to count the cost of its own citizens, » said Richardson

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg admitted it was a « challenging time » in the relationship but argued that Australia was a « very reliable, trustworthy long-term partner for China » in supplying « very high quality » coal >

Frydenberg also defended blocking a $ 300 million bid by the state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation to acquire Australian construction company Probuild after the Chinese embassy accused Australia of « arming the concept of national security to block Chinese investment « 

Such steps are « detrimental to mutual trust and bilateral economic and trade relations, » said the embassy

Frydenberg said Australia’s national interest always comes first In the past six months, about 20% of the approved foreign investment applications included at least one Chinese party

« This means that more than 250 Chinese investment applications have been approved, » he said, « Less than a handful did not move forward »

Whitehaven Coal, Paul Flynn, ASX: WHC, China, ASX

Level Info – AU – Labor fears humanitarian crisis on Australian coal ships stranded off China

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jan/14/labor-fears-humanitarian-crisis-on-australian-coal-ships-stranded-off-china

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