Coal traders said they expect the restrictions on Australian coal to remain in force for a while as the Chinese government seeks to moderate a spike in coal imports to protect domestic supply, according to Australia’s Financial Review. Two major southern Chinese ports, Guangzhou and Fuzhou, have reportedly banned coal imports.

China’s coal imports were expected to rise 10% or more this year. For the first three quarters of 2019, China imported 251 million metric tons (mt) of coal, a 9.5% increase over last year. If China had taken no action, some analysts believe that number could have increased to 20% by year end.