China-Australia relations: Could Wool, Honey, Fruit, Dairy or Pharmaceutical Products be Next in the Crosshairs?



Su-Lin Tan | South China Morning Post

Australian wool could be China’s next trade target, given its heavy dependency on the Chinese market, alongside honey, fruit, dairy and pharmaceutical products, according to analysts.

About 80 per cent of Australian wool goes to China for processing and onward sales, and as direct sales to China, making it a particularly vulnerable target, said Scott Waldron, a senior research fellow at the School of Agriculture and Food Science at the University of Queensland who has been analysing the logic behind China’s trade moves.

“If the main aim of Chinese coercion is to maximise costs and leverage on Australia, it would target wool,” he said in his research paper, The Logic of China’s Economic Coercion on Australian Agriculture, published last week by research institute Future Directions International.

He added that Australian wool exporters have limited alternative markets, and said “a substantive barrier would cripple the Australian industry”.

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