A major coal port in Australia said vessels bound for China had arrived at the facility this month, adding more evidence of an easing of curbs on sales to the top consuming nation. 

“There are early signs that the informal ban on Australian coal imports to China may be in the process of being removed,” Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure Ltd., which operates the world’s largest metallurgical coal export facility in Queensland, said Monday in a statement.

Coal suppliers including BHP Group Ltd. have resumed exports to China after authorities gave clearance for some purchases to restart after an easing of diplomatic tensions between the two nations. Imports by China, previously a key customer, halted in late 2020 as an informal ban was imposed following disagreements on issues including the origins of coronavirus.

China could import as much as 20 million tons of hard coking coal from Australia this year, producer Coronado Global Resources Inc. said last month. 

Dalrymple Bay shipped 53.3 million tons in 2022, with Japan, South Korea, India and Europe accounting for 75% of exports, the company said in its statement.