Trafigura, the Swiss commodity trader, is reportedly helping Chinese smelters clear imports of copper concentrate from Australia. This move suggests that an informal ban on such imports may have been lifted, given that the cargo clears customs. China has been gradually easing unofficial curbs on Australian imports, including copper concentrate and coal, which were imposed in 2020 amid a diplomatic spat. State-owned Chinese smelters have been reluctant to buy from Australia, despite the wider easing of restrictions. The easing of such an informal ban could have significant implications for global copper markets, as China is a major consumer of the metal.