China suspends importation of more Australian beef as trade battle escalates

China has suspended the importation of more Australian beef, this time from Meramist Pty Ltd, the sixth supplier to face such a move in a country that is one of China’s main meat suppliers.

China made the decision yesterday but did not provide a reason.

It has already banned imports from five other Australian beef suppliers this year, citing reasons that have included issues with labelling and health certificates.

Australia’s ties with China – its top trade partner – were already strained. The relationship has significantly deteriorated since Canberra called for an enquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

China stopped receiving applications and registration for beef exports from the Meramist plant from 7 December, China’s General Administration of Customs said in a notice on its website, without giving a reason.

Mike Eathorne, the general manager of Meramist, told the ABC last night he had only just received the news.

“I was advised five minutes ago and I have been given absolutely no reasons,” he said, adding he could not comment further.

 

Reuters /ABC