Simon Birmingham ASEAN pacific US China trade war trade deal
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

It’s dirty, it’s black, Matt Canavan loves to rub it on his face. But what else do we know about Australian coal and what happens now that we can’t sell it to China?

Here’s Crikey’s handy Q&A to help you understand the latest trade dispute with Beijing.

What’s the export ban to China all about?

China state-owned media has reported that Beijing has formally blocked imports of Australian coal. The reports make official an informal ban on coal exports, which began earlier in the year, leaving dozens of bulk carriers stranded offshore.