China trade tension to hit Australian beef and wool exports

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Australian beef exports into China are set to face increasing competition, while wool producers are being urged to minimise their reliance on Chinese demand, as trade tensions with Beijing continue to shape Australia’s agriculture industry.

The trade warning, which was extended to industries that heavily rely on Chinese demand, including wool, as well as to producers who have already been hit with tariffs, including barley, was issued by the Rural Bank in its Australian agriculture midyear outlook on Monday.

However, the report notes that despite ongoing tensions with China and Covid-19-induced uncertainty, Australia’s agriculture industry is set to perform well in 2020, in part thanks to recent rainfall over drought-stricken areas.

The agricultural outlook comes after Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last week showed the value of thermal coal exports to China fell by 25%, or $95m, in the month of May. The drop followed a Chinese government directive given to five major state-owned utilities in the middle of the month to avoid Australian product.

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