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Future of Australian Coal: COVID-19, China’s Ban, and Energy Transition

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All of the countries of the region will need to prepare alternative strategies for the low carbon future, and Australia is no exception.

Xunpeng Shi | Policy Forum

In the aftermath of the pandemic’s outbreak, it seemed that resource trade could become a key political battleground throughout the COVID-19 crisis – not only did this eventuate, but it seems that its impact will be long lasting.

Around that time, China launched anti-dumping actions against Australian barley exports and trade sanctions on Australian beef.

Over the year, China expanded its blacklist of Australian exports to include wine, timber, rock lobsters, and, in October, coal, though this all remained unofficial in nature.

Australian coal exports to China in the 12 months to September 2020 were $11.5 billion, and this dropped to $8.9 billion in the 12 months to December 2020, a 34.8 per cent reduction.

Since Australia’s coal accounted for 49.3 per cent of China’s total coal imports in 2019, a true ban, rather than an unofficial reduction like what’s already taken place, would significantly negatively impact both countries.

Based on 2014 trade data, if imports of Australian coal to China had been cut........

© Oped Column

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