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China restricted imports from Australia. Now Australia is selling elsewhere

China restricted imports from Australia. Now Australia is selling elsewhere

Wide restrictions that China slapped on Australian exports are not as damaging as it was feared they’d be, because Australia is finding new markets for its goods. Tensions between the countries have soared in recent months, deteriorating sharply after Australia supported a call for a global inquiry into China’s early handling of Covid-19.

Beijing has since taken several measures restricting Australian imports, ranging from levying tariffs to imposing other bans and restrictions. That has affected Australian goods including barley, wine, beef, cotton and coal. Collectively, the targeted exports were worth about $25 billion in 2019, or 1.3% of Australia’s gross domestic product, according to Australia-based Lowy Institute.

Australia is one of the few developed countries in the world that has enjoyed a trade surplus with China. With China being Australia’s largest trading partner, analysts expected Australia to be hit badly by the restrictions. But those analysts now say Australia has managed to contain the damage by diverting many of its exports to other countries. Overall, the affected Australian exports to China — except for coal — held steady through most of 2020 to the tune of just over $9 billion, Rajah said. They eventually dropped to about half that amount as restrictions escalated in late 2020, he added.

China restricted imports from Australia. Now Australia is selling elsewhere, CNBC, Jun 3

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