Canberra: China has effectively ended its ban on Australian coal producers that has been a centrepiece of a diplomatic dispute lasting more than two years to cause "economic pain,", an Australian-based website reported.

One of the coal producers, New Hope Corporation confirmed that several Chinese buyers had approached them in the past month to purchase their coal.

At the beginning of the year 2020 or since Covid-19 broke out, China imposed a number of bans on Australian products including iron ore, wine, and beef after then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an investigation into the origins of Coronavirus.

Although the coal ban was never official, for the last two years China has shadow-banned the Australian resource, putting it on an invisible blacklist.

The move was taken by China to bring Australia's economy to kneed but now, Beijing has lifted the ban, and the dynamics changed, reported

Unconfirmed reports first emerged in early January that China was relaxing its coal ban.

The Chinese Communist Party reportedly allowed four of its major importers, including the country's biggest steelmaker, Baowu, to buy up Australian coal in the first week of January.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, several other Australian mining companies, which preferred not to be named, have also been approached by Chinese manufacturers in the last mount, as well as New Hope Corporation, which has its head office in Brisbane.

In a statement to, a New Hope Corporation spokesperson said they had "seen a sizeable increase in inquiries from Chinese buyers in the past month".

But in an embarrassing moment for China, the Australian mining company isn't willing to supply them with their coal - because their coal is going elsewhere, including to disputed Chinese territory and enemy of the CCP, Taiwan, according to

"The group's current production remains fully contracted to existing, customers, including long-term international customers in Japan and Taiwan," the New Hope spokesperson said.

Before this trade issue came between the two countries, China used to buy coals from Australia, generating USD 13 billion for the latter country, according to 2019 figures. This then dried up in 2020 practically overnight.

However, Australia bounced back quickly after finding alternate markets in India, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, among others, reported

Soaring prices saw Australian coal companies enjoy hefty profits, with revenue for the material tripling in 2021 to 2022 financial year to USD 68 billion.