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THE NEWS WRAP: China plans to cut coal consumption growth

Thursday, 7 February 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

China’s State Council has unveiled new energy conservation plans that would see the nation dramatically cut the growth rate of its coal consumption.

 

Over the past five years, China’s coal use has surged from near negligible levels to around 200 million tonnes a year, pushing up world coal prices to the benefit of coal exporting nations, including Australia as the world’s biggest exporter of coal.

 

Last year China represented 19.5% of Australia's thermal coal exports (worth $2.8 billion), 17.5% of coking coal ($3.5 billion) and 72.5% of iron ore ($38.6 billion),

 

The plan would see China stabilise the amount of coal it uses at slightly above current levels, although analysts remain sceptical about whether the non-binding energy targets could be met without causing an intolerable drop in the nation’s GDP.

 

Qantas chief tells tourism industry to get used to high Aussie dollar

 

Qantas chief executive has warned the tourism industry to get used to a high Aussie dollar being the “new normal” during a speech to Tourism and Transport Forum in Sydney.

 

"Any business looking at the economics of their operation has to be planning that it is not going to change," Mr Joyce says.

 

"They should be making sure their strategies are robust enough to cope with it."

 

Australian wine exports set to drop by 15%

 

Wine exports are set to drop by 15% over the next five years, according to an International Wine and Spirit Research report commissioned by wine fair Vinexpo.

 

“Australia for two decades has shown incredible growth around the world but is plateauing now and there's an adjustment on the production side which is totally normal,” Vinexpo chairman Xavier de Eizaguirre told Fairfax.

 

“It doesn't mean Australia is in trouble in terms of exporting, it just means there's a correction after years and years of spectacular growth.”

 

Overnight

 

In New York, the S&P500 was 0.077% lower at 1510.13. The Aussie dollar is up to US103.17 cents.