Australian wine exports to China collapsed to just $12 million in the four months that ended on March 31 from $325 million in the same period a year earlier, as punitive tariffs took their toll.
New figures from industry body Wine Australia revealed the impact of the hefty tariffs of up to 212 per cent which have been put on bottled products from Australia by Chinese authorities.
For the year to March, the report said the total value of Australian global wine exports dropped to $2.77 billion, a decline of four per cent compared with the prior year.
This was mainly caused by “the toll taken by high Chinese tariffs”, the document said.
China remains Australia’s top wine export market, but the value of mainland Chinese imports has dropped 24 per cent in the 12-month period to March, to $869 million.
In contrast, exports to the UK have soared and are worth $461 million in the same period – but Britain is half the size of the Chinese market.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the UK export market had grown by 33 per cent and exports to Europe were the highest in 10 years.
She said the decline in exports was due mainly to a steep decline in Chinese imports as well as less volume available for export.
“Notwithstanding the impact of China’s tariffs, we were still looking at a potential downturn in exports over this period simply due to the supply situation,” Ms Clark said.
But she said there had been growth in other global markets.
“There was also growth to North America, up five per cent to $628 million, and Oceania, up seven per cent to $112 million,” she said.
In March, Chinese authorities confirmed they were extending tariffs on Australia wine exports for another five years.
Beijing said the taxes – expected to be up to 220 per cent – were an anti-dumping measures.
The trade sanctions against Australian exporters come after relations between Beijing and Canberra plummeted over the last year.
Last month the Federal Government angered China by scrapping a controversial trade agreement between Victoria and Beijing.
And over the past year, exports including coal, barley, beef, lobster and timber were hit with tariffs and other sanctions.
They came after Australia called for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and the Federal Government introduced foreign interference legislation.
Source: Thanks msn.com