Australia says it is closely monitoring trade flows to China amid “deeply troubling” reports from industry that Chinese buyers have been told not to purchase seven categories of Australian produce from Friday, reported Reuters.
Australian and Chinese media have reported that Chinese importers had been informally warned by Chinese customs officials that Australian wine, copper, barley, coal, sugar, timber and lobster will be targeted for increased inspections from Nov. 6.
Australia’s trade minister Simon Birmingham said Chinese official government statements had denied any coordinated effort was being taken against Australia, and he hoped Beijing “is true to its word”. “They deny any discriminatory actions that are being taken. But that doesn’t seem to be what industry is seeing and hearing at present,” he said on radio station 5AA.
Birmingham said the “risk profile has changed dramatically” for Australian businesses exporting to China this year. “The range and extent of concerns that industry are hearing is deeply troubling,” he said.