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Australia lowers barley export forecast after China tariff

Reuters – Australia has lowered its forecast for barley exports during the 2020-21 season by around six per cent after China imposed a tariff that effectively ended the billion-dollar trade between them.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said barley exports during the 2020-21 season will total 6.155 million tonnes, down from the previous estimate in June of 6.55 million tonnes.

The expected decline in exports comes after China in May slapped on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5 per cent on Australian barley imports.

China had until recently bought as much as 70 per cent of Australia’s barley exports.

While ABARES said shipments to alternative markets such as Saudi Arabia will rise, the majority of supplies that would have otherwise gone to China will now be sold domestically.

China’s move on Australian barley, which will remain in place for five years, is the latest agricultural commodity to be affected by a deteriorating relationship between Canberra and Beijing.

Already inflamed by Australia’s allegations that China was meddling in its domestic affairs, relations worsened when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.

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