SINGAPORE: China’s state planner has allowed three central government-backed utilities and its top steelmaker to resume coal imports from Australia, the first such move since Beijing imposed an unofficial ban on coal trade with Canberra in 2020.
The partial easing of the coal import ban comes after the two countries’ foreign ministers met last month seeking to reset the frosty diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) summoned China Datang Corp, China Huaneng Group, China Energy Investment Corporation and China Baowu Steel Group on Tuesday to discuss the resumption of coal imports from Australia, two people familiar with the matter said. The firms will be granted permission to purchase Australian coal only for their own use, the people said.
The NDRC did not respond to a request for comment. The four companies named did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside office hours. China imposed restrictions on Australian commodities including coal and wine just over two years ago.