Australian beef processors suspended in China trade escalation


China has imposed an import ban on four Australian abattoirs in an apparent escalation of Beijing's trade war tactics, ABC reports. The report highlights the blacklisting of the red meat abattoirs - three in Queensland and one in NSW - which is coming just days after China flagged plans to introduce an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, bringing the trade to its knees.

Key notes

There are fears the barriers introduced by Australia's largest trading partner are in retaliation to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's demand for an independent investigation into the COVID 19 outbreak.

One analyst has told the ABC the four meatworks represent 35 per cent of beef exports to China, a trade that had been on track to reach $3.5 billion this year.

In 2017, China banned imports from six Australian meatworks, including the four processors caught up in the current ban, along with Australian Country Choice and Thomas Foods.

That ban related to Chinese concern about labelling non-compliance and took months of high level diplomacy to resolve, stalling beef production in the process.

Market reaction

The news took a little while to filter through but it helps to explain the eventual drop in AUD where it is now down around 0.80%: AUD/USD remains near session lows after string of Aussie and China data releases

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