China willing to buy more mineral, agriculture products from Mongolia

BEIJING, Sept 8 (Reuters) - China is willing to buy more mineral and agriculture products from Mongolia and will work with it to ensure unimpeded trade across their border, China’s commerce ministry said.

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, in a video meeting with Mongolia Vice Premier Amarsaikhan Sainbuyan on Tuesday, said China pays high attention to border trade with Mongolia and will promote infrastructure connections to expand trade.

Amarsaikhan said he hoped China would increase the volume of goods crossing the border, import more non-mineral products and support cross-border container transport, the Chinese ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.

China mainly import coal, iron ore and frozen horse meat from Mongolia.

Mongolia is one of China’s main coking coal suppliers, especially after Beijing stopped coal imports from Australia in December last year.

In the first seven months of 2021, China bought 8.84 million tonnes of coking coal from Mongolia, about 34% of China’s total imports.

However, coal shipments have slowed since April due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in Mongolia, with coal cargos falling to less than 200 in August from more than 800 in the same period in 2021.

China’s coking coal prices gained 90% over the past five months and hit a record high of 2,971 yuan ($459.71) per tonne on Tuesday, on concern about a supply crunch. ($1 = 6.4627 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway Editing by Robert Birsel)