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Lifting Ban on Australian Hay: Beijing Allows Imports Again

“I will continue to persevere and press for all outstanding impediments to be removed as soon as possible,” Trade Minister Don Farrell.

Beijing has lifted trade restrictions on Australian hay following the Albanese government’s latest effort to remove remaining trade impediments.

It comes after the Chinese Communist Party lifted tariffs on Australian timber, coal, and barley. However, barriers remain on other products such as wine and lobster, both of which were particularly reliant on the Chinese market before the bans.

Trade Minister Don Farrell said while it was another positive step forward, there was more work to do.

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“I will continue to persevere and press for all outstanding impediments to be removed as soon as possible,” he said.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said this was another piece of good news for Australian farmers following the resumption of timber and barley trade.

“The department has been working tirelessly on a resolution for many months in the lead-up to today’s announcement,” he said.

“We are working hard to remove the existing impediments and restrictions on other important commodities like beef, wine, and lobster.”

Australian hay exports to China in 2022 were valued at $78 million (US$50 million), under half of the $160 million exported in 2020.

Beijing slapped punitive trade barriers on hay along with a swathe of other Australian exports as part of an economic coercion campaign in response to the former government’s tough-on-CCP policies and calling for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

They also completely froze all diplomatic contact with the Morrison government, which thawed after the Albanese government was elected to Parliament.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the gradual removal of trade barriers was a testament to Labor’s approach to foreign relations.

“It affirms the approach, the calm and consistent approach, that the Albanese government has taken since we have come to office,” she previously said following the removal of barley tariffs.

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