Australia’s exports to China hit record highs as barriers came down

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By Webdesk

Australian goods exports to China totaled $12.71 billion in March, almost a third more than a year earlier.

Exports from Australia to China soared to record highs in March as the Asian giant sucked in more iron for its steel industry and lowered barriers to the transport of thermal coal amid thawing diplomatic relations.

Data released on Thursday showed that Australian goods exports to China reached AUD19 billion ($12.71 billion) in March, up 31 percent from a year earlier and lower than the previous peak of mid-2021.

The jump helped lift Australia’s overall trade surplus to its second-highest all-time high of 15.3 billion Australian dollars ($10.2 billion), a boon to mining profits and tax receipts.

Export volumes of iron ore lumps and iron ore fines to China rose 24.3 percent and 17.7 percent respectively from a month earlier, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

Shipments of thermal coal to China rose 125 percent in volume in March from February, offsetting the drop in exports to Japan.

Beijing effectively ended an unofficial ban on Australian coal in January, allowing customs clearance for the first time since 2020, when it launched trade restrictions on a range of Australian products as tires froze in the early days of COVID.

Following a leadership meeting late last year, China and Australia agreed last month to resolve a World Trade Organization dispute over Chinese barley tariffs within three months.

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