Australia's competitors in the metallurgical coal trade might see greater opportunities into China, but Canada and the USA are already subject to some quality and tariff-related restrictions into China, limiting their potential upside.
"Prices for low sulphur premium coals in particular would rise as importers scramble to replace Australian coals".
"We expect and would understand that the trade agreements that we have between Australia and China will continue to be consistently applied".
Given that China accounts for 23% of all Australian coal exports, the news understandably undermined confidence in the "Aussie" for fear it could dent domestic growth.
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 Russian Federation and Indonesia will not be affected.
The Australian dollar fell as much as 1.1%, the most in two weeks, to around 0.7086 yesterday after the Reuters report.
Earlier on Thursday, Reuters reported that customs in the northern Chinese port city of Dalian has banned imports of Australian coal and will cap overall coal imports from all sources to the end of 2019 at 12 million tonnes.
The minister tells Chris Smith, "We don't believe that China has banned Australian coal into China or into even a single port".
As with New Zealand, China is Australia's largest trading partner and coal is its largest export there.
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The Australian Dollar (AUD) has steadied this morning, as the currency recouped some ground overnight after nosediving on Thursday.
"We must be a little bit careful that if the trade negotiation would be ended with a temporary success, that could in turn mean the Fed might restart their monetary tightening", said Yoshinori Shigemi, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo. Just before the start of the Lunar New Year holidays, Chinese customs officials told some local authorities to start controlling shipments from Australia, without giving explicit instructions as to how or why, according to a person with knowledge of the order, who asked not be identified because they're not authorized to speak publicly.
That move not only pushed up seaborne coking coal prices due to surging demand from China, but also resulted in buyers establishing longer-term business relationships with domestic miners to guarantee their respective supply.
"I don't think it's helpful... for people to leap to those sorts of conclusions".
Central bank governor Philip Lowe said Friday it would be "concerning" if the diplomatic spats were spilling into the trading arena, but added that it would be prudent to "wait and see" what the motivations behind the Chinese actions were.
Dr Lowe said the Chinese coal industry was not particularly profitable and there could also be some changes for environmental reasons. Weaker coals make up the majority of Mongolian exports so in the short-term direct replacements for Australian coals would be limited.
"For now, Australian coal can clear customs", he said, declining to be named because of company policy.
"If it were to be the sign of a deterioration in the underlying political relationship between Australia and China then that would be more concerning", he said.