Dollar inches up after Fed minutes, trade issues back in view

Dollar inches up after Fed minutes, trade issues back in view

Dollar inches up after Fed minutes, trade issues back in view

They told Fastmarkets MB earlier this year that the extended customs clearance process at northern Chinese ports was singling out Australian coal, albeit unofficially, amid simmering tensions between the two trading partners.

The Australian dollar recovered after falling more than 1 percent on Thursday, when Reuters reported the Chinese port of Dalian had banned imports of Australian coal indefinitely.

The news follows the Australian government's decision this month to cancel the visa of prominent Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo andthe banning in August past year of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment to Australia's 5G broadband network.

Reportedly, ships importing coal into China in recent weeks have faced uncommonly long delays in dealings with Chinese port customs.

"The ports in China are all receiving import declarations for imported coal, including that from Australia", the foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, told reporters Friday in Beijing.

China, which has a history of using trade as leverage, has been seeking to counter resistance in several nations to using Huawei in 5G networks.

"Weaker coals make up the majority of Mongolian exports so in the short term direct replacements for Australian coals would be limited", he said.

News of the ban sent the Australian dollar tumbling in late afternoon trade.

However, Mr Dhar said the message Chinese officials are sending is the worry.

But he said the more likely factor behind the coal ban was less concerning because China was trying to reform its internal coal and steel industries, not necessarily target Australia.

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"We expect and would understand that the trade agreements that we have between Australia and China will continue to be consistently applied".

Birmingham said import quotas, combined with the testing of products for quality assurance, "may be slowing down the processing of coal in certain ports across China" but that China was applying its rules equally to all countries and wasn't discriminating against Australia.

This drop in the "Aussie" came on the back of shock reports that China had shutdown Australian coal imports.

Meanwhile, China's demonstration of muscle flex places pressure on the Australian government - giving it a taste of what could happen if China did something more meaningful to damage our trade relationship.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged observers to be "careful about leaping to conclusions" and said regulatory rather than political issues were at play.

He pointed to two possible explanations for the ban. "Apparently, they do this all the time at various ports", says Rankin Treasury Advisory principle Derek Rankin.

Some investors linked the restrictions to China's trade war with the US.

The Dalian port received seven million tonnes of that.

The dollar held gains on Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting revived expectations for a possible U.S. rate hike this year while investors shifted their focus back to trade issues for fresh directional cues.

Meanwhile, officials from China and the USA met again in Washington on Thursday. Imports can not exceed that level but the quota applies to all countries including Australia, Russia and Indonesia, the person said.

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