Australia says it will pursue all avenues on China coal ban reports

(Reuters) – Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Tuesday said he would pursue all avenues to defend the rights of the country’s businesses after Chinese media reported China had banned imports of Australian coal.

The state-owned Global Times newspaper said in a report late on Monday China’s top economic planner had granted approval to power plants to import coal without clearance restrictions, except for Australia.

“We have seen a pattern of disruption in relation to Australian trade with China generally,” Birmingham told reporters.

“It is well documented that a number of vessels have been delayed in terms of offloading Australian coal into China for a considerable period of time.”