On 18 December, the Australia-China Business Council hosted a National Briefing with Australian Ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher
The Australian Government is aware of reports that trade disruptions have affected some goods entering China from Australia. For more information and support, visit Austrade’s Critical trade updates page.
Trade – On March 26, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) confirmed anti-dumping duties ranging from 116% to 218% on imports of Australian wine for a period of five years, to commence on March 28 (BJ569333L). Punitive duties have already hit Australian winemakers hard. Wine exports sank to less than $1 million in January, from a peak of $164 million last October – before the tariffs were introduced.
Resources – Customs data shows that China’s iron ore imports from Australia increased 59% (by value, year on year), to US$15 billion in the first two months of 2021. Volumes were down 1% to 105 million tonnes. Australian iron ore accounted for 57% of China’s total iron ore imports by value, followed by Brazilian iron ore with 24% and South African with 4% market share respectively. Iron ore accounted for 73% of China’s total imports from Australia in Jan-Feb 2021, which were up 9% y-o-y to US$21 billion. This masks a 42% drop in imports of Australian goods other than iron ore.
Economy – According to forecasts released by the World Bank, China is expected to lead the recovery of East Asian and Pacific economies this year. The World Bank’s recent East Asia and Pacific Economic Update predicts China’s economy will grow by 8.1% this year, compared with 2.3% in 2020, stimulating a 7.4% region-wide expansion.
Retail sales – Sales of consumer goods in January-February increased 33.8% year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The rise mostly reflects a rebound from January-February 2020, when the country was impacted by lockdown measures. The 2021 sales data represents a 6.4% increase on sales for January-February 2019.