[Ferro-Alloys.com] Australian coking coal producers have regained their competitive advantage after a Free Trade Agreement inked between China and Australia in Brisbane on the afternoon of Nov 17th saw the immediate removal of the 3% duty on coking coal imports.
Thermal coal, however, did not do as well in the FTA, with Chinese buyers still required to pay a 6% import duty in China for Australian material for another two years -- an indication perhaps that China has plenty of thermal coal whereas appetite for good quality steelmaking coal remains strong.
"The tariffs on coking coal will be removed on day one, with the tariff on thermal coal phasing out over two years," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement.
China government imposed the coal import tariffs on October 15, ostensibly as a means of supporting China's domestic coal sector. Some market watchers in Australia suggested the tariffs were introduced to provide some bargaining ballast in the FTA discussions. (click to check the news "China to Impose Coal Import Duties ")