IMPORT CUTS: Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche says if China cut its coal imports it would not affect Queensland mines.
IMPORT CUTS: Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche says if China cut its coal imports it would not affect Queensland mines. Mike Richards

Likely China coal cuts no threat to us, says Roche

CHINA may be cutting coal imports, but it is unlikely to drastically affect Queensland mining companies, Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche says.

Reports that China was looking to cut back its imports to protect its domestic industry had not come to pass, Mr Roche said.

But even if it did, it would not have huge impact on Queensland mines. When it comes to thermal coal, Japan is the biggest importer for Queensland coal.

"About 6% of total coal exports was thermal coal to China," Mr Roche said.

"The Australian coal industry will manage to adapt to any decrease in demand in China."

In the 12 months to September last year, Queensland exported about 12 million tonnes of coal to China, compared to 14 million to Japan.

There have also been reports China could cut back on using coal harmful to the environment in a bid to improve its air quality.

But this coal, not so high in ash and sulphur, came from Indonesia and other countries, said Mr Roche, who supported China's intention to use this coal.

With an aging population, China's use of coal is expected to peak by about 2030, Mr Roche said.

But he said the international energy agencies had predicted the coal demand in

India would triple in the next few years.



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