Australia's coal bonanza at risk as Chinese import 'ban' spreads

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Hold-ups reach southern ports as analysts warn that trade could dry up amid China restructuring and diplomatic tension

The number of Chinese ports restricting or delaying Australian coal imports has continued to rise, threatening to end the export bonanza that is bloating federal coffers and signalling possible painful long-term structural change to the economy.

In an ominous development for Australia’s trade balance and federal budget, traders and buyers in China reported on Thursday that the hold-ups for Australian shipments that began in February have spread from the northern port of Dalian to Fuzhou in the south-eastern Fujian province and Rizhao in Qingdao.

Related: Energy analysts forecast ‘the end of coal’ in Asia as Japanese investors back renewables

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