/ 26 March 2021

Tally of trade woes with China

The value of Australia’s trade with China was down 2% in value in the second half of last year compared to the same period in 2019, which doesn’t sound so bad given the amount of time we spent talking about the expected downturn. But the problem with that number is it’s significantly propped up by booming iron ore exports with the price of the mining commodity soaring last year. Stip it out of the numbers, and it’s a much different story… For almost all other industries, the value of our exports to China were down by 40%. Things weren’t 100% tickety-boo before 2020, but the Oz-China relationship went lemon-strength sour over a range of geopolitical issues. Paying the price were barley, wine, beef, and lobster exporters (to name a few) who saw their business suspended or disputed. China still refuses to answer Australia’s calls to discuss the trade impasse.

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