Forget the black day for coal; the future for the key Australian export may be a little brighter than first thought. Indeed, reports of a move by China to restrict and coal imports look to have been misconstrued.
A recent Reuters report kicked off a media stir when it suggested China had banned imports of coal from Australia and had plans to eventually cap overall imports from all sources.
Channel checks from ANZ Research so far suggest while there are delays in getting imported coal, it is still getting through. This has been confirmed by conversations with buyers in China and media reports from sources from the physical market suggest the same.
There’s also solace to be taken in the reaction from the spot market. Spot coking coal prices have in fact strengthened, with the Australian FOB premium hard coking coal prices rising in the immediate aftermath. Thermal coal prices were relatively unchanged.
If a ban was in place this Australian-based spot price would have come under immense downward pressure. That’s good news.