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48 ships stranded off China with banned Australian coal

48 ships stranded off China with banned Australian coal

The number of coal carriers stranded off the coast of China with banned Australian coal has fallen below 50, but the ongoing spat between Australia and China has left about 1,000 seafarers stranded.


Ties between Canberra and Beijing have worsened dramatically in the last year, with Australia spearheading the inquiry into the coronavirus's origins. As a result, China has imposed bans on a range of Australian goods.

According to the most recent data from Braemar ACM, there are 11 capesizes and 37 panamaxes stuck in China with Australian coal as of this week, and some of these ships have been waiting to discharge since April last year.

Braemar ACM monitored 75 capesize and panamax ships anchored outside Chinese ports at its peak.

Shipowners, maritime groups, and seafarer unions have urged governments and related shipping parties to resolve the dry bulk standoff off China's coast, which has stranded a large number of seafarers.

The coal ban, according to Braemar ACM researchers, has likely had a positive effect on bulker demand.

“The trade spat between China and Australia continues – and, though tensions may be easing behind the scenes, this does little to help shipowners and operators understand what they can expect in terms of trade between the two countries in the coming months,” BIMCO stated.

China levied an 80.5 percent tariff on Australian barley in May of last year. According to Braemar ACM, barley exports from Australia to China have been decreasing for many years, reaching 1.2 million tonnes in 2020, down from 1.6 million tonnes in 2019 and 3.9 million tonnes in 2018.

Australia's share of total Chinese imports dropped from nearly 100% in 2018 to 59 percent in 2019 and finally to 29% in 2020.

Because of the sudden rise in import duties, Chinese buyers had to search for other options. Argentina's barley exports to China rose by 257 percent year over year to 0.5 million tonnes in 2020, while Ukraine's exports increased by 180 percent to 2.5 million tonnes last year.

Maritime Business World 

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