China lifts tariffs on Australian wine, ends three-year freeze in commerce

China lifts tariffs on Australian wine, ends three-year freeze in commerce

Hand-picked grapes on the Billanook Property winery in Chirnside Park, Victoria, Australia, on March 18, 2024. 

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China will elevate anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian wine from March 29, the Chinese language commerce ministry stated on Thursday, ending three years of punitive levies and providing long-awaited aid to Australian wine producers.

The tariffs, of as much as 218.4%, have been first imposed in March 2021 for a interval of 5 years together with a bunch of different commerce limitations on Australian commodities when ties soured after Canberra known as for a probe into the origins of COVID-19.

Ties have improved considerably since final yr, main China to steadily lifting commerce hurdles on Australian items starting from barley to coal, and elevating hopes the punishing tariffs on shipments to Australia’s high wine export market would quickly be eliminated.

“Given the scenario in China’s wine market has modified, the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariff imposed on wine imported from Australia is now not vital,” the commerce ministry stated in an announcement.

Beforehand, Australian wines imported into China have been topic to zero tariffs after the signing of a free commerce settlement in 2015, giving them a 14% tariff benefit over many different wine-producing nations.

Within the first half of 2023, Australian wine accounted for under 0.14% of Chinese language wine imports in contrast with 27.46% in 2020 earlier than the duties have been imposed, in keeping with the commerce ministry assertion.

“We welcome this end result, which comes at a important time for the Australian wine trade,” the Australian authorities stated in an announcement.

“Since 2020, China’s duties on Australian wine successfully made it unviable for Australian producers to export bottled wine to that market. Australia’s wine exports to China have been price $1.1 billion in 2019.”

Beijing began imposing tariffs on Australian merchandise in 2020, prompting Canberra to complain to the World Commerce Organisation (WTO). When the tariffs on Australian wine have been levied in 2021, Canberra urged the WTO to arbitrate within the dispute.

Underneath the joint efforts of either side, China and Australia reached a consensus on the correct settlement of disputes beneath the WTO framework, He Yadong, a spokesman on the Chinese language commerce ministry, informed reporters on Thursday.

The removing of the Chinese language duties means Australia will discontinue its authorized proceedings on the WTO, in keeping with the Australian assertion.

Australia’s high publicly listed winemaker, Treasury Wine Estates <TWE.AX>, stated it welcomed the announcement and can begin partnering with prospects in China to develop gross sales and advertising, in addition to model administration.

“Right this moment’s announcement is a big optimistic not just for Treasury Wine Estates, but additionally for the Australian wine trade and wine shoppers in China,” CEO Tim Ford stated in an announcement.

“It is a medium-term development alternative that we are going to pursue in a deliberate and sustainable method, targeted on rising our portfolio in China.”

The lifting of the tariffs may even be a welcome transfer to vine growers in Australia as tens of millions of vines are being destroyed to rein in overproduction amid falling consumption of wine worldwide.

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