Exporters brace for more threats from China on trade
“I think that there is probably going to be increased compliance in China, so we’ve urged all our exporters to make sure they’re absolutely spot-on with export compliance,” he said.
Mr Battaglene said in many cases where there were tensions in a relationship between trading partners, there could be increased scrutiny of imported goods at the border.
“It just means that we’ve got to be very sure that we do everything to the letter of the law, which we should be doing anyway,” he said.
Australia is now the largest wine exporter to China, after overtaking France last year.
Rollo Crittenden from Crittenden Estate on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, said he is watching the diplomatic row closely. The stoush has not had any impact on Crittenden’s China exports, but the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions in China did delay a recent shipment.
Crittenden Estate has been exporting to China for two years and Mr Crittenden said the Chinese market had strong potential. New figures show Australia exported $1.14 billion of wine to mainland China in the year ending March 2020.
“China’s an interesting market and I think that their thirst for Australian wine has increased dramatically over the last five years,” he said.
Crittenden’s wine is available at restaurants and high end bottle shops in China. Mostly, it exports Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to the country. “The Chinese market has fallen in love with Australian wines, which is fantastic,” he said. “We see it as a very important market and a growing market for Australian wine and it’s nice to be a part of that,” he said.
Dairy farmer Damian Murphy said trade tensions are not a new phenomenon. Australia exported $1.06 billion in dairy products to China last financial year. “Stoushes are going to happen no matter what. There are going to be issues between trading partners forever and a day,” he said.
“It all depends on how they’re sorted out. Usually it’s behind closed doors, but this one’s gone public,” he said.
Darren is the mining and agribusiness reporter for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.