Australia Reaping Benefits from China’s Unofficial Softening of Export Restrictions

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Australia is beginning to reap the benefits as China lifts its unofficial export restrictions on specific products and materials.

According to Hans Hendrischke, a Chinese Business and Management professor at the University of Sydney, Bloomberg reported that Beijing could lift trade limitations on Australian imports such as wine, lobsters, and other commodities. This follows earlier reports that China had already concluded a partial embargo on coal from Canberra.

“We don’t know when,” Hendrischke said. “But if China does that, it’s good news for Australian exporters and the entire economy.”

“Nobody could tell you whether it will start with barley, wine producers or lobsters for Chinese New Year,” Hendrischke added.

The benefits of such a softening of export restrictions could be huge for Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, China is the world’s largest exporter and accounted for approximately 61 per cent of Australia’s total exports in 2022.

This includes more than 41 billion AUD of mineral fuels, 35 billion AUD of cereals, and more than 16 billion AUD of meat.

China is Australia’s biggest trading partner regarding services, with total exports reaching over 32 billion AUD in 2022. Popular products include travel services, accounting for approximately 20 billion AUD in exports that year.

Australian farmers, producers and exporters have welcomed the news of China’s unofficial softening of export restrictions. Analysts estimate that exports to China could be worth up to $6 billion over the next year.

Australian economist Saul Eslake believes this could help bolster the economy as it slowly bounces back growth from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It would be a significant boost for an economy facing an increasingly uncertain outlook,” he said.

The move is also seen as a step towards improving strained diplomatic relations between the two countries. If China continues to reduce its restrictions on Australian imports, it could lead to greater cooperation and understanding between the two countries.

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