How strained China-Australia relations hit trade in coal, barley, beef and wine

Relations between China and Australia had been strained since 2018, when Canberra banned Huawei Technologies from its 5G broadband network. The relationship deteriorated further in 2020 after Canberra’s call for an international investigation into the origins of COVID-19, triggering a series of trade retaliations by Beijing on Australian exports.

Five of the beef processors Australia’s largest were also suspended from exporting to China in 2020 for reasons including poor labeling and contamination with a banned substance. Although other plants are still able to ship to China, importers have complained about long delays in clearing Australian meat through customs. The trade was worth A$3 billion in 2019.

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