28th September 2023 – (Sydney) The Australian government announced on Thursday that China has begun removing barriers to imports of hay from Australia. This development marks another step forward in the efforts to restore trade ties between the two countries.
China had imposed restrictions on imports of various commodities from Australia in 2020, in response to Australia’s call for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. However, following a change of government in Canberra last year, China began gradually lifting these barriers, allowing the resumption of Australian exports of commodities such as barley, coal, and timber earlier this year. Nevertheless, restrictions on wine, lobsters, and meat from certain abattoirs remain in place.
Trade Minister Don Farrell, in a joint statement with the agriculture ministry, expressed optimism about the progress made so far. “This is another positive step forward, but there is more work to do,” he stated. Farrell affirmed his commitment to continue working towards the removal of all remaining impediments as soon as possible.
The statement highlighted that while progress has been made, there are still some steps that need to be finalized before shippers can begin exporting hay to China. The Australian government remains diligent in its efforts to ensure a smooth and complete restoration of trade relations between the two countries.
According to the ministries, Australia’s hay and chaff exports to China were valued at A$78 million ($50 million) last year, a decrease from A$160 million in 2020. In the 2022-23 period, Australia’s total hay and chaff exports were worth A$467 million.
Comparatively, trade data reveals that the United States exported hay worth $698.8 million to China last year, representing an 18% increase from the previous year. These figures demonstrate the potential for growth in the hay export market and underscore the importance of normalizing trade relations between Australia and China.