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Aussie dollar tumbles as China's Dalian port bans Australian coal imports

Customs at China’s Dalian port have banned imports of Australian coal on Thursday, causing the Australian dollar to slide.

Customs at China’s Dalian port have banned imports of Australian coal, with the ban taking effect at the start of February. The ban on coal imports from Australia is indefinite, reports say.

The Australian dollar took a fall on Thursday, after already being on the back foot due to weak Westpac forecasts announced earlier on Thursday.

It comes as major Chinese ports have delayed clearing times for Australian coal to a minimum of 40 days.

According to an exclusive report, an official told Reuters on Thursday that customs at China’s northern Dalian port will cap overall coal imports for 2019 through its harbours at 12 million tonnes.

Five harbours overseen by Dalian customs - Dalian, Bayuquan, Panjin, Dandong and Beiliang - will not allow Australian coal to clear through customs, said the official, however coal imports from Russia and Indonesia will not be affected.

Analysts say the five ports have handled up to 14 million tonnes last year alone, half of which was from Australia.

The Australian dollar falls on the news

Australia being one of the top suppliers of coal, has investors playing it safe, with AUD/USD falling upon the news.

The Australian dollar was down 0.85% at $0.7102 on Thursday afternoon, at time of writing.

The Aussie had already been shaky, as it was whipsawed on Thursday starting with a strong jobs report sending it flying, only to be brought back down by weak forecasts of rate cuts from Westpac bank.

The Aussie dollar initially jumped almost half a cent to $0.7207 before falling back to $0.7155 after Westpac predicted interest rates would be cut in both August and November.

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