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Su-Lin Tan

Articles by Su-Lin Tan

China trade: B2B e-commerce booms as world looks to get back outside and resume ‘normal life’

3 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Sales of non-pandemic goods are on the rise as China’s business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce trade boomed alongside traditional trade in the first quarter of the year. Exports of kitchen products, household appliances and outdoor sporting goods through B2B e-commerce channels during the quarter edged out masks and sanitisers – the dominant trade a year ago – according to one of China’s biggest B2B e-commerce marketplaces, DHgate. The volume of trade in household appliances and kitchen products…

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Chinese steel production powers ahead despite curbs in industry’s heartland

7 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Steel production in China has continued to charge forward despite curbs on production in Tangshan, the country’s largest producer.The increase underlines the dilemma the Chinese authorities face in balancing the need to keep the economy on track as it recovers from the impact of Covid-19 with its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2060.The blast furnace capacity utilisation rate of 247 Chinese steel mills remained strong at close to 87 per cent after a small rise of 0.02 percentage points…

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China-Australia relations: is Canberra taking a ‘less combative’ stance with Beijing despite tensions?

9 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia has seemingly moved towards “less combative” interactions with China, despite ongoing tensions and alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his cabinet expressed a desire for a “positive” and productive relationship.There has been no ministerial-level contact between the two governments for the past year after a fallout that started over calls for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and spiralled into a broad trade conflict. But…

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China-Australia relations: trade minister Dan Tehan says businesses must help Canberra repair ties with Beijing

10 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia’s trade minister has told Australian businesses to “step up to the plate” in repairing ties with China amid the worst bilateral relations between the two countries in decades, as he put forth recommendations on how Australia can better engage with Asia.On Wednesday, Dan Tehan launched a final joint report by Asia Society Australia and the Business Council of Australia, detailing how Australian businesses, the government and academia can work together to increase trade in Asia via a …

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China, Asia to fill bulk of surging US demand for goods in 2021 as global trade rebounds from coronavirus, WTO says

16 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The United States and the rest of North America will be the biggest importers of goods this year while China and other Asian economies will lead the way in supplying them, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said.North America will drive demand in merchandise trade this year thanks to large fiscal injections in the US, the WTO announced in its global trade forecast on Wednesday. US imports are set to rise by 11.4 per cent after tumbling 6.1 per cent last year.Europe and South America will also…

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China-Australia relations: more than 11,000 litres of wine detained in Shenzhen as ban continues

18 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Nearly 9,000 litres of red wine from a vineyard owned by renowned Australian pearling company Paspaley Group were detained in south China last month, as Beijing’s block on Australian wine continues amid a protracted dispute between the two countries and new anti-dumping duties on the trade.Some 8,640 litres from Paspaley’s Bunnamagoo Estate winery and 2,646 litres of red wine from Australian private label supplier Lindsdale were stopped in Shenzhen for poor labelling and excessive use of…

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Suez Canal blockage: China to see minor raw material disruptions, but accident further exposes ‘risks’ of global supply chains

19 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Any upheaval in the Chinese economy due to the blockage of the Suez Canal by a massive container ship is likely to be minimal given most of its intermediate supply chains are located in the Asia-Pacific region, economists and analysts say.Although there will be some impact on China, it will be mostly limited to sectors such as battery and rubber manufacturing, which depend on intermediary raw materials from Europe, they added.However, the bottleneck in one of the world’s busiest trading…

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Suez Canal blockage disrupts global supply chains, commodity flows, but unlikely to set back Covid-19 recovery

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Suez Canal blockage will strain manufacturing supply chains, deplete inventories of raw materials from oil to finished products like fertilisers and send shipping costs soaring, but it is unlikely to put a major dent in the recovery of the global economy, economists and analysts say.The Ever Given, a ship that is longer than the Eiffel Tower and can carry 20,000-containers, has not moved since its grounding on Tuesday despite frantic efforts to free the ship from a world trade chokepoint…

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Crude oil worth US$400 million halted by Suez Canal blockage, with at least 6.3 million barrels stranded

23 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The trade of at least US$400 million of crude oil as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG), refined fuels and containers full of goods have come to a standstill in one of the world’s key shipping routes, with millions of dollars more at risk after a massive container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday.Frantic efforts are under way to free the 400-metre long, 200,000-tonne Ever Given, one of world’s largest container ships, after it was blown off course by strong winds and blocked the…

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Australian lithium miner ready for ‘dynamic shift’ in EV battery supply chain amid US-China tensions

24 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australian miner Hawkstone Mining has successfully produced battery-grade raw lithium at its Arizona mine that would be valuable to US critical mineral and battery supply chains amid a global race to step up security in key sectors. As the United States and China compete to secure supply chains that are key to the defence, technology and green energy sectors such as batteries and rare earth, Hawkstone said on Wednesday that lithium from its Big Sandy Lithium Project can be turned into top-grade…

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China coal: Australia ban continues to weigh on supply, imports down 40 per cent even as Russia moves to fill gap

25 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s imported coal supplies are under pressure amid a prolonged ban on Australian imports that shows “no sign of being lifted in the near term”, and new restrictions at the border with Mongolia.Coal imports into China for the first two months of 2021 fell nearly 40 per cent compared to a year ago, according to China customs data, despite Russian exports looking to fill the gap caused by the Australian ban, S&P Global Market Intelligence said. Mongolia enacted stricter checks at the key…

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China, India forecast to lead 5.4 per cent global GDP rebound in 2021, but vaccine roll-out crucial: Moody’s

25 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The world economy is expected to grow by more than 5 per cent this year, but the recovery is dependent on a successful roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines across the globe, according to a new analysis.Global gross domestic product (GDP) contracted a historic 3.7 per cent last year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but Moody’s Analytics has forecast a rebound of 5.4 per cent in 2021, upgrading its February estimate of 4.9 per cent.Asia is expected to lead the recovery with growth of 6.9…

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China-Australia relations: Beijing set to dominate refined oil exports in Asia-Pacific region, observers say

27 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A rapid increase in China’s crude oil refinery capacity will see it dominate exports in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly to Australia where there are concerns of a vulnerability in the supply chain, analysts say.Chinese exports of refined oil products to Australia rose from a few thousand tonnes before 2011 to nearly 300,000 tonnes at the end of last year, according to figures from China customs. And given the announced closure of two of Australia’s last four refineries, its reliance on…

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China’s carbon neutral ‘transformation’ could cost US$6.4 trillion, but plan has ‘Achilles’ heel’

March 18, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will need to spend US$6.4 trillion to build the new green power generation capacity needed to meet its goal of reaching carbon neutrality in 2060, but may fall short on the supply of key raw materials required, according to energy analysts Wood Mackenzie.Solar, wind, storage and nuclear power projects are set to take centre stage to produce enough electricity to accommodate an estimated 75 per cent increase in demand and to replace lost energy from slashing fossil fuel sources by 2060,…

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China-Australian relations: parliament panel calls for rethink over Port of Darwin lease

March 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]An Australian parliamentary inquiry has called on the government to consider revoking the 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company citing a new foreign relations law.The decision to lease the port in 2015 caused controversy because it is also used as a base by the Australian and United States armed forces.A report by parliament’s joint standing committee on trade and investment growth recommended that the Australian government should investigate whether the lease contravenes the…

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China-Australia relations: barley dispute going to WTO as headwinds loom in Australia’s alternative markets

March 16, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Informal talks between beleaguered trading partners China and Australia over their anti-dumping dispute involving barley have hit a wall, while some of Australia’s redirected barley exports could face headwinds in the Middle East.The Australian government said on Monday that it will escalate the resolution process by asking the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a dispute-settlement panel after failed attempts to resolve the complaint informally with China in late January.Relations…

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EV lithium battery supply race hots up as China’s Yibin extends US$15 million loan to Australian miner Pilbara Minerals

March 16, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]As miners eye expansions in the global race to secure a supply of lithium, a critical element in electric vehicle batteries, China’s Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry has extended a US$15 million zero-interest loan to expand its relationship Australian miner Pilbara Minerals amid a steady trade of the mineral between the two countries.The loan from lithium chemical producer Yibin is in the form of an unsecured prepayment to Pilbara Minerals’ operating subsidiary, Pilgangoora Operation, and is the…

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China’s electric vehicle battery supply chain dominance enhanced with nickel production innovation

March 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has continued to show its dominance in the global battery supply chain by sending the nickel market into overdrive after stainless steel producer Tsingshan Holding Group announced it would be able to provide a new flow of nickel matte from its Indonesian operations.Last week, Tsingshan said it would be able to provide 100,000 tonnes of nickel matte – a material converted from nickel pig iron – to two major Chinese battery makers, Huayou and CNGR, within a year from October, instantly…

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EV battery supply chain firms seek diversification as Biden order shines more light on China reliance

March 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Amid a global review of supply chains, centred on reducing reliance on countries such as China, an Australian-listed critical commodities specialist and its German-based graphite partner have joined the 500-member European Battery Alliance to provide products for the electric vehicle market.Australian-listed BlackEarth and its German partner LuxCarbon GmbH joined the alliance two weeks after US President Joe Biden ordered a review of American supply chains for products including semiconductors,…

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China-Australia relations: BHP makes another anti-pollution deal with major Chinese steel producer

March 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Anglo-Australian miner BHP has signed its second carbon-emissions deal with Chinese steel mills in four months, as China’s top legislative body this week emphasised the importance of reducing harmful emissions.BHP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with one of its major customers, Chinese steel producer HBIS Group, to invest up to US$15 million over three years in a joint study to explore technologies that could help reduce greenhouse gas pollution.BHP and HBIS Group, one of China’s…

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China-Australia relations: lucrative international education sector takes hit amid trade row, survey shows

March 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Three in five businesses in the China-Australia education sector say Chinese appetites for Australian education are deteriorating, with the tense bilateral relationship between the two countries the main reason, according to a new survey by the Australian Chamber of Commerce (Austcham) in Beijing.In a survey of 112 education-related businesses – including Australian schools, universities and education support services – conducted in November and December last year, 62 per cent of the…

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China’s health-conscious consumers push liquid milk imports to ‘major milestones’ at expense of infant formula

February 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A growing awareness among Chinese consumers about the health and wellness benefits from drinking milk helped imports hit two “major milestones in 2020”, as the trade avoided coronavirus-related headwinds and political risks.Chinese appetite for milk has historically been low due to a genetic lactose intolerance, but last year in China, the average consumer drank nearly 30kg (66lbs) of milk, five times the 6kg (13lbs) downed in 2012, according to research firm Daxue Consulting.Both exporters and…

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China’s ‘two sessions’: Beijing must juggle competition and cooperation in historically unprecedented global trade environment

February 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s political elite will face a number of challenges when they gather in Beijing next month for the year’s biggest legislative set piece – the meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, informally known as the “two sessions”. In this latest part of a series looking at the key items on the agenda, we examine the country’s trade ties and challenges.The history of global trade is littered with all kinds of conflicts, but few stand out…

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China-Australia relations: more than 23,000 litres of wine stopped at Chinese ports as trade spat continues

February 24, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]More than 3,000 litres of wine from Penfolds and nearly 20,000 litres from a second Australian winery, Badger’s Brook Estate, were detained at Chinese ports last month as an import ban continues to hit Australian products, the latest Chinese customs data shows.Some 675 litres of the 2018 Penfolds Bin 128 red wine and 2,700 litres of Penfolds Bin 28 from the same vintage were stopped by Shenzhen customs last month due to poor labelling.In Chongqing, a municipality in southwest China, a variety…

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China-Australia relations: bad weather and seasonal slowdowns weigh on key exports such as iron ore

February 23, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia’s exports of iron ore, cereals and meat to its most important trading partner fell in January due to bad weather and industrial factors, the latest preliminary trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows.Despite its ongoing political conflict with China, trade between the two countries remained steady last year. The total value of Australia’s goods exported to China reached A$145.2 billion (US$114.6 billion) in 2020, or just 2.16 per cent less than A$148.4 billion…

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China’s carbon neutral push gathers pace as coal-fired power plants drop below 50 per cent for first time

February 20, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s coal-fired power plants fell to less than 50 per cent of its total power generation mix for the first time last year, while separately, power generated from non-fossil fuels rose to make up more than a third of the country’s power output, according to a new report.Coal-fired generators still produced 60 per cent of the nation’s power needs last year, with non-fossil fuels now accounting for 34 per cent of China’s total power output in 2020 – 1 per cent higher than in 2019.This change…

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China set to be first country where e-commerce sales outstrip bricks-and-mortar retail in 2021

February 18, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Chinese retail market is poised to become the first in the world to be dominated by e-commerce transactions as Lunar New Year retail sales beat expectations amid a pandemic-driven economic slowdown.Research firm eMarketer expects 52.1 per cent of China’s total retail sales to come from e-commerce transactions in 2021, increasing from 44.8 per cent last year.“That means that for the first time anywhere, a majority of retail sales for an entire country will transact online,” said the firm in…

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China’s rare earth export curbs push Australian miner to fast track Africa project as nations step up diversification plans

February 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Amid geopolitical concerns over China’s plans to curb exports, Australian rare earth miner Ionic Rare Earths, which has previously fielded interest from governments, has secured commitments to raise A$12 million (US$9.3 million) in new funding to fast track its Makuutu project in Uganda.The concerns over China’s intentions were heightened on Monday when Chinese sources indicated that Beijing could restrict the export of rare earth metals to the United States, a move that could hurt its weapons…

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China-Australia relations: allowing coal ships to dock on humanitarian grounds not seen as softening of import ban

February 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will move to allow eight vessels carrying Australian coal to dock on humanitarian grounds, although doing so does not signal a lifting of its unofficial ban on imports of the commodity which began in October, according to commodities analysts.While the vessels will be allowed to offload their shipments – mostly coking coal used in steel production – there is also no indication yet that the cargoes have received clearance from Chinese customs to enter the country.Throughout the past week,…

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