Chinese cities reportedly go dark as country faces shortage of coal, a major Australian export

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Staff members of quarantine service take a sample of coal imported from Australia in port of Rizhao, Shandong province.
Jie Zhao | Corbis News | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Several major Chinese cities have reportedly gone dark as authorities limit power usage, citing a shortage of coal.

Analysts said prices of the commodity in the country have shot up due to the reported crunch. The reports also follow rising trade tensions between Beijing and Canberra, leading some analysts to tie the coal shortages and blackouts to the unofficial ban on Australian coal.

Relations between the two nations soured last year after Australia supported an international inquiry into China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Coal is just one in a growing list of Australian goods that China is targeting, as a result of their escalating dispute.