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MNI BRIEF: RBA Concerned By China Slowdown

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SYDNEY (MNI)

Minutes from the September board meeting discussed falling iron ore export prices.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia believes Australia's terms of trade will remain high in the September quarter, with a slump in the iron ore price – which has more than halved in recent months - balanced by higher prices for coal and liquefied natural gas, according to the minutes of the September RBA Board meeting released on Tuesday.

The minutes show the RBA is concerned about a softening of economic activity in China, which "had become more uncertain than it had been more some time."

The RBA noted that new lockdowns and restrictions had disrupted key ports, there was policy uncertainty, and that leverage issues in the property market had created the risk of fire sales of assets. The minutes do not detail how the RBA believes a slowdown in China will impact Australia, but notes that while most commodity prices had increased, the AUD has depreciated over the course of 2021 against the USD and in trade-weighted terms.