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

By Ryan Woo, Albee Zhang and Casey Corridor

BEIJING (Reuters) -China will raise 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 reduction 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 raise 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 mandatory,” 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 line with the commerce ministry assertion.

“We welcome this final result, which comes at a vital time for the Australian wine business,” 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.”

“That is nice information,” stated Campbell Thompson, the Beijing-based Australian CEO of wine importer and distributor The Wine Republic. “We’re delighted and we sit up for re-introducing some nice wines to China very quickly.”

Australian wine makers had been making ready for the dropping of Chinese language tariffs for months. Commerce information present nearly 2.5 million litres price of wine from Australia coming into Hong Kong in December, up from round 685,000 litres a month in recent times and probably the most since September 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.

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

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

Australia’s high publicly listed winemaker, Treasury Wine Estates (OTC:), stated it welcomed the announcement and can begin partnering with clients in China to develop gross sales and advertising and marketing, in addition to model administration.

“At this time’s announcement is a big constructive not just for Treasury Wine Estates, but additionally for the Australian wine business and wine shoppers in China,” CEO Tim Ford (NYSE:) stated in an announcement.

In line with Simon Woods, CEO of Australia’s Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AustCham Shanghai) the announcement will “increase confidence inside the Australia-China enterprise group.”

© Reuters. A staff member sniffs wine in a glass while a customer watches at Trio Wine Bar in Beijing, China November 1, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

“That is improbable information and is the product of exhausting work on the a part of Australian and Chinese language governments and companies,” he stated.

The lifting of the tariffs may also be a welcome transfer for vine growers in Australia as hundreds of thousands of vines are being destroyed to rein in over-production amid falling consumption of wine worldwide.



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