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More than 50 bulk carriers carrying Australian coal stranded at Chinese ports?

According to Bloomberg, more than 50 bulk carriers carrying Australian coal have been stuck in Chinese ports, with delays in unloading.



The bulk carriers, mostly Capesize and Panama-type vessels, carry about 5.7 million tons of Australian coal worth more than $500 million, according to an independent analysis of shipping data by Bloomberg and data intelligence firm Kpler.It has been a month or more of waiting to unload its cargo, stranding up to 1,000 crew members.


A total of 66 bulk carriers carrying Australian coal are anchored in Chinese waters, mostly at the ports of Jingtang and Caofeidian, according to Bloomberg data.


According to Kpler, 53 bulk carriers carrying Australian coal have been waiting at Chinese ports for nearly four weeks or more to unload.Of those, 39 ships were carrying about 4.1 million tons of met coal, which as of Nov. 23 closed at $101.57 a ton in Australia on the Singapore Exchange.The nine ships were carrying nearly 1.1 million tons of thermal coal, the benchmark price for which closed at $63.40 a ton on the ICE European Futures Exchange on Nov. 23.The coal type of the other five vessels could not be confirmed, assuming that they were cheaper thermal coal, and the estimated coal value of the 53 vessels was about $519 million.


Kpler said that before China restricted coal shipments from Australia, bulk carriers carrying coal typically had to wait three to five days to reach their berths.


Stranded bulk carriers and crew members are among the victims of China's move to blacklist a large number of Australian commodities and food, bloomberg said, in a further escalation of tensions.In October, Chinese power stations and steel mills were told to stop using Australian coal, and ports were instructed not to unload it.At the same time, the Chinese government is taking broader measures to restrict coal imports.China's monthly coal imports recently fell to their lowest level in nearly a decade, according to Wood Mackenzie.


In response, Wang Xiaolong, director of the Department of International Economics at the Foreign Ministry, pointed out that China's recent trade measures were taken to protect public health and were in line with its obligations to the World Trade Organization.


More than 50 ships carrying Australian coal have not been unloaded, foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Nov 25. "In recent years, China's customs has conducted risk monitoring and analysis on the safety and quality of imported coal, and found that imported coal is often substandard in environmental protection," he said.China has strengthened quality and safety inspections of imported coal and environmental protection projects in accordance with laws and regulations to better protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and environmental safety.