$700 Million Worth of Australian Coal Held Up at Chinese Ports

By Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national affairs including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and Australia-China relations. Got a tip? Contact him at daniel.teng@epochtimes.com.au.
November 25, 2020Updated: November 27, 2020

Over $700 million worth of Australian coal exports have been anchored off the coast of China for months over apparent issues with environmental standards.

It is believed around 50 vessels containing the coal are waiting around Chinese ports, as safety and quality inspections prevent the exports coming ashore, according to Bloomberg.

Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the government was working with exporters to resolve the issues.

“We are aware of longer port processing times for Australian coal, particularly at this time of year,” he told AAP on Thursday.

“We continue to engage with industry about the impact that unofficial restrictions are having on resources exporters,” he said.

The coal delays come as the latest in an array of trade-related strikes against Australian exports to the country, which has ensnared the beef, barley, wine, cotton, lobster, and timber industries.

Earlier in November, timber exports from Queensland and Victoria were held up by the General Administration of Customs in China, over alleged concerns of live bark beetle infesting the shipments.

While $2 million worth of Australian lobsters were held up at a Chinese airport, forcing exporters to cease shipments due to uncertainty over prolonged inspection periods.

In response to the latest delay, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would work through each issue individually.

“We just work the process through with the Chinese government to get the best possible outcome that we can,” he told the Nine network.

“These are not easy issues… it’s incredibly complicated what we’re dealing with here.”

AAP contributed to this article.