China Weighs New Measures to Punish Australia

China Weighs New Measures to Punish Australia

Policy rifts divide trading partners, raising risks for energy and commodity deals.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • Tensions are rising over iron ore, Australia's top export to China and an essential resource for the world's leading steelmaker.
  • Australian ore exports of 713 million tons accounts for 61 percent of China's ore imports last year.
  • China has run out of patience and options for punishing Australia, raising the risks for the iron ore trade as prices rise.
  • Record prices for iron ore supplies have raised concerns about rising cost pressures in China's steel industry, even though Chinese demand has been the primary driver of the price increase.
  • Last year, China's crude steel output surpassed 1 billion metric tons, a new high, as production increased 5.2 percent due to COVID recovery and infrastructure investment.

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