Chinese Importers Anticipate That the Australian Lobster Trade Will Soon Be Booming Once Again

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Chinese seafood merchants have affirmed their optimism that Australian lobsters will return to the Chinese dining scene in late 2021 as Beijing accelerates plans to lift restrictions on imports of up to $20 billion worth of products.

Trade Minister Don Farrell announced that an exporter had applied for a licence, which was only recently accepted. An invitation to visit the city was issued after a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart, where they discussed more talks in Beijing.

It is the first instance of its kind since a myriad of unofficial prohibitions made it impossible for this trade to occur in late 2020.

Any step towards resolving the trade impediments would be welcome,” Farrell said.

Senator Farrell refused to speculate as to when the first cargo of lobsters would make its way into China.

These problems didn’t occur overnight, and unfortunately, they’re not going to be solved overnight,” said Farell.

As the most expansive processor and exporter of rock lobsters on a global scale, Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative is proudly based in Western Australia.

A company spokesperson said, “while recent dialogue and developments are encouraging, there has been no change to imports at this time.”

On Wednesday, a 72,000-tonne shipment of Australian coal arrived in China, marking a monumental breakthrough.

Tragically, the export of live lobsters was halted when a cargo worth $2 million became stuck on the Shanghai tarmac due to allegations from Chinese customs that these rock lobsters may be contaminated.

Although exports of live lobster to China from Australia have been halted since November 2020, the trade for frozen lobster has continued.

The possibility of the ban being lifted is increasingly likely, as significant diplomatic progress has been made between China and other countries. 

If this occurs, lobsters may join coal to benefit from eased trade sanctions due to improved relations among leaders, foreign ministers, and trade ministers.

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