Australia Sounds Alarm on Trade as China Row Slams Farm Exports



Sybilla Gross | Bloomberg

Australia issued a warning on trade, saying uncertainties from its souring ties with China and the lingering impact of an earlier drought will push down the value of its agriculture exports.

The value of shipments is set to decline 7% in 2020-21 to the lowest level in five years, according to a report from the government forecaster Abares. While that’s a slight improvement from its September estimate of a 10% slump, the downturn comes in a year of solid domestic production growth.

Australia’s agriculture industry has borne the brunt of escalating trade tensions between Beijing and Canberra that threaten serious disruption for an expanding number of exporters. The most recent hit came last month, when China slapped anti-dumping duties of up to 212% on Australian wine on top of trade measures that impact other commodities including timber, barley and lobster.

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