BEIJING • China added to tensions with Australia yesterday by announcing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5 per cent on Australian barley imports from today, which is expected to all but halt a billion-dollar trade between them.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said it had confirmed dumping by Australia and significant damage to its domestic industry as a result, after an inquiry which began in 2018.
The tariffs on barley will remain in place for five years. It is the latest agricultural commodity to be affected by a deteriorating relationship between Canberra and Beijing.
The Chinese ministry said duties of 73.6 per cent would be levied on all companies, including four named exporters, The Iluka Trust, Kalgan Nominees, JW&JI Mcdonald & Sons and Haycroft Enterprises, as well as an anti-subsidy duty of 6.9 per cent.
Australia is the biggest barley supplier to China, exporting about A$1.5 billion to A$2 billion (S$1.4 billion to S$1.8 billion) worth a year.
Australia’s Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said the Chinese decision was deeply disappointing.
“We reject the basis of this decision and will be assessing the details of the findings while we consider the next steps,” Mr Birmingham said in an e-mailed statement. “We reserve the right to appeal this matter further.”
China has been angered in recent weeks by Australia’s call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.