There is no doubt that recent trade attacks from China have hit Australia hard, but the sanctions also come with a price for Beijing, with the nation already experiencing some of the negative impacts.
China has introduced tariffs and bans on a range of Aussie imports, including wine, barley, lamb, beef, coal, lobster and timber, with fears more industries could be in the firing line.
While it is clear Australia is suffering from the attacks, experts have warned China won’t come out of this fight unscathed.
Earlier this year China imposed an 80 per cent tariff for five years on the $600 million of annual barley exports from Australia over dumping claims.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has strongly denied these allegations and repeatedly called on China to resolve the matter.
Earlier this year, Mr Birmingham also suggested the tariffs would also prove detrimental to Chinese consumers, pointing to research from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Modelling showed Australian farmers would likely see a loss of about $330 million, while China could potentially see a loss of $3.6 billion due to its reliance on Australia’s quality barley for brewing beer.
“With Australia’s agricultural production diverted to other activities, exports of other agricultural products in 2025 are estimated to increase,” the ABARES report stated.
“This means the value of Australia’s total agricultural exports (to all countries) would fall by less than what is lost in the trade with China.”
The report claimed the tariff on Australian barley would see Chinese buyers shift to alternative sources for malting barley, which would likely result in lower returns for their products.
“The need to find alternative supplies of barley leads to an increase in demand for Chinese-grown barley. In response, Chinese agriculture shifts towards a less efficient production mix of coarse grains (corn and barley), which further compounds the effect of the tariff,” the report states.
Other negative impacts that China may not have expected have already started to show in other areas.
Since October, Australia’s coal has been unofficially banned from China, with steel mills and power companies reportedly told not to buy our thermal coal.
This has seen the price for Australia’s premium hard coking coal fall by 22 per cent since October, global price reporting agency Argus reported.
But China appears to have created some self-inflicted harm as a result of this attack, due to the country relying on coal to fuel its steel making industry.
Last week, the price of coking coal in China soared to a four-year high, which was blamed on delays in supplies of coal from Mongolia – the biggest supplier of coal to China alongside Australia.
Extra health checks on truck drivers transporting coal from mines in the Gobi desert have been required…
Go to the news source: How Beijing’s attacks are backfiring