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Money Australian beef exports safe despite Chinese state media threat, industry body says

03:56  24 may  2018
03:56  24 may  2018 Source:

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United States Russia Japan Hong Kong China South Korea Source: USDA. Australian Beef Industry - 2015. As ever, Australia ’s domestic industry will be largely export oriented with available surplus expected to be continue in the medium term.

Australian beef that was shipped to China before the Asian powerhouse slapped a temporary import ban on some producers will now be allowed into the country.

China's Global Times newspaper said US goods could © Provided by ABC News China's Global Times newspaper said US goods could "replace" imported Australian beef.

The outspoken state-owned Chinese tabloid the Global Times has lashed Australia once again, publishing an editorial calling on Chinese officials to cool bilateral relations and reduce imports of Australian goods by billions of dollars.

In an editorial published late last night, the paper suggested wiping $6.45 billion worth of Australian imports — specifically naming beef and wine as areas worth cutting — in order to "make Australia pay for its arrogant attitudes" towards China.

The newspaper said China's recent promise to increase US imports meant "replacing Australia" would be easy, but the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) is not convinced.

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China and the Middle East were the largest growth markets for Australian beef , with China taking 154,833 mt (+371 percent from 2012). Exports were lower to Australia ’s top two markets, Japan (288,794 mt, -6 percent) and the United States (211,687 mt, -5 percent).

China ’s globally-focused state media outlet has suggested Beijing could cut Australian imports by billions of dollars and cool diplomatic relations In an extensive editorial on Chinese - Australian relations published today, the Global Times — known for its belligerent editorials — says that despite

"The assertion that's been made by the Global Times is not reflective of how the market operates," AMIC chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson said.

"There are a number of different countries that are putting product into the [Chinese] market, and the market share is shared quite evenly.

"So another entrant into it is not just going to impact one country."

He said Australia's market share is currently sitting at about 17 per cent, behind Brazil and Uruguay but ahead of Argentina and New Zealand.

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In my March 2015 article on developments taking place in live exports , I wrote about the concern of some industry experts that domestic processing of cattle in Australia could come under threat . Given the reputation of Australia for safe , fresh beef , marketers are likely to claim it as Australian

Threats . Input prices Disease risk Climate change. The Australian Beef Industry PwC. Beef export by location. Rep. of Korea 14%. Other 24%. Japan 39%. United States 23%. During drought years, slaughter rates generally increase.

Mr Hutchinson said no country is leading by a great margin, and the US trade agreement is unlikely to change that.

"The entry of the US into the Chinese market will play a part not just for us, but for all who are supplying product," he said.

"I think it's a little bit ill-informed to think that just the US coming in would replace Australia on its own, there are many other suppliers."

Warning a reminder of economic leverage

The editorial was published following a meeting yesterday between Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, on the sidelines of a G20 foreign ministers' meeting in Argentina.

The meeting came during a turbulent period in the bilateral relationship, with Beijing objecting to the Federal Government's planned foreign interference laws, and Canberra frequently criticising China's actions in the South China Sea.

Mr Hutchinson said the editorial was a reminder that commentary on other countries' domestic practices can lead to economic "levers" being pulled.

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A number of Chinese government policies have implications for Australian beef exports to China , some impacting on market access, consumer demand or market competition due to domestic industry reform and investment

Major markets for Australian beef exports include Japan, the USA, Korea and China . Despite Queensland being the largest beef -producing state , New South Wales has the largest number of beef farms. This poses a threat to any pig that may come in contact with uncooked imported pork meat.

"While we understand and support as always our Trade Minister and our Foreign Minister, we need to recognise as well that trade is a very important aspect for the Australian economy — and for the agricultural economy for that matter," he said.

"This is where these things can get caught up, and can impact the whole Australian economy.

"There is great opportunity for the red meat industry in China, and we want to be making sure that our Government is taking all steps to make sure that happens."

The Global Times last week said Australia's relationship with China was "among the worst of all Western nations", and in February described Australia as an "anti-China pioneer".

In today's editorial, which is currently the most popular on the paper's Chinese language site, the paper said punishing Australia economically would "be a good lesson for Australia to learn, while also setting a precedent for other nations to follow".

"There are no benefits for any country that chooses to take provocative measures against China," it said.

Trump sets June 15 deadline for opening round of trade war with China .
In two weeks' time the White House says it will name a list of US$50 billion in Chinese technology products to be hit with a 25 per cent tariff. The tariffs would be imposed "shortly afterwards".Investment restrictions and export controls to prevent "Chinese persons and entities" gaining "industrially significant technology" would be announced on June 30, the White House said.From June 11, visa limits would be imposed on Chinese students wanting to study robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing fields in the United States, and Chinese researchers would face tougher security screenings.

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