China’s latest attack on Aussie trade


The trade war between Australia and China has stepped up a notch after Beijing banned imports from our biggest barley exporter.

Barley from Perth-based CBH Group has been suspended by China, reportedly over the threat of "harmful weeds" within the crop.

The latest ban comes hot on the heels of similar action against a Queensland abattoir.

In a statement issued by Chinese customs on Tuesday, it was alleged "pests" were found in CBH's exports.

"Recently, Chinese customs have successively detected Bromus rigidus, Avena ludoviciana, Aegilops cylindrica, Solanum carolinense, Emex australis, and Cernuella virgata, wheat streak mosaic virus and other quarantine pests from imported Australian barley," the statement said, according to The Australian.

"In order to prevent the introduction of harmful organisms, in accordance with the 'Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine Law of the People's Republic of China' … the general administration of customs has revoked registration of Australian company CBH Grain Pty Ltd due to serious violations of the regulations, suspended its barley imports, and notified the Australian authorities of the relevant situation."

China’s latest move is a huge blow to the barley industry. Picture: Zoe Phillips
China’s latest move is a huge blow to the barley industry. Picture: Zoe Phillips

However, it's just the latest development following months of escalating tensions between the two nations, which kicked off earlier this year after Prime Minister Scott Morrison pushed for an inquiry into the spread of the lethal coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Mr Morrison revealed plans to scrap Victoria's multimillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative agreement with Beijing and other deals found to be against Australia's national interest.

Earlier in August, China launched an anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine exports - essentially accusing Australia of flooding China with cheap wine in an effort to skew the market.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the investigation was "a very disappointing and perplexing development" from its largest wine importer.

"Our wine industry has worked incredibly hard to establish itself as a world-leading producer and export powerhouse," Senator Birmingham said.

"Australian wine is highly sought after in China because of its quality.

"Australian wine is not sold at below market prices and exports are not subsidised."

Just days later, Chinese firm Mengniu Dairy's $600 million deal to buy Lion Dairy and Drinks - the company behind Pura milk and Dare iced coffee - spectacularly collapsed.

And earlier this week, Chinese newspaper The Global Times ran a series of anti-Australian articles, labelling us "poor white trash" and warning of "consequences" if we don't play nice with China.

Originally published as China's latest attack on Aussie trade