Chinese imports from Australia down 13% m/m in December

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Cargo is loaded and unloaded at Tongling Port in east China’s Anhui Province on Nov 1, 2021. Tongling has been engaged in port construction in recent years, contributing to the economy of the export-oriented city. Photo: cnsphoto

Chinese imports from Australia in December 2021 fell 13.0% month-on-month, amid slowing bilateral relations.

Trade between China and Australia stood at $231.2 billion in 2021, accounting for 3.82 percent of China’s total foreign trade, which topped $6 trillion for the first time, according to statistics released Friday by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

Total imports from Australia were $11.4 billion in December 2021, down 13.0% from $13.07 billion in November. But imports from Australia for the full year reached $164.8 billion, up 40.0% on an annual basis.

Analysts said the increase in the value of Chinese imports from Australia is mainly due to the surge in commodity prices, especially bulk products, and the weak basis for comparison from 2020.

China imported $114.8 billion worth of goods from Australia in 2020, down 5.3% from 2019, according to GAC data.

Rising prices are also evident in trade data from China.

China imported 28.9 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia in 2020, worth $10.31 billion, or about $357 per ton of LNG.

Meanwhile, from January to November 2021, China imported 2.83 million tonnes of LNG from Australia – an almost tenfold decrease, but with a total value of $2.55 billion, meaning that the price was around $899 per ton.

The price of LNG imported from Australia in 2021 increased by 151.8% in one year.

Rising LNG prices are not the only example in China’s energy trade.

A tanker carrying 155,000 cubic meters of LNG arrived at the port of Zhoushan in east China's Zhejiang province on Wednesday.  The facility has received 100 LNG ships since August 2018. Data from the General Administration of Customs showed Wednesday that LNG imports totaled 10.62 million tonnes in September, up 23% year on year.  Photo: cnsphoto

A tanker carrying 155,000 cubic meters of LNG arrived at the port of Zhoushan in east China’s Zhejiang province on Wednesday. The facility has received 100 LNG ships since August 2018. Data from the General Administration of Customs showed Wednesday that LNG imports totaled 10.62 million tonnes in September, up 23% year on year. Photo: cnsphoto

The total volume of natural gas imported by China was 121.4 million tonnes in 2021, up 19.9 percent year-on-year, compared with a value that jumped 67.6 percent year-on-year.

In total, 323.2 million tons of coal were imported in 2021, up 6.6% from 2020. But the total value of imported coal was $ 35.9 billion, up 76. 9% year-on-year.

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