China suspends CBH Grain barley imports
China has suspended barley imports from Australian firm CBH Grain Pty Ltd, according to a notice released by the country's General Administration of Customs.
The decision was made after quarantine pests were found in barley exports from Australia's top grains exporter multiple times, the administration said on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.
The move came after China levied hefty tariffs on Australian barley cargoes and launched probes into Australian wine imports, amid worsening relations between Beijing and Canberra.
China in May imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totaling 80.5 per cent on Australian barley imports, effectively halting a billion-dollar trade.
Beijing also retracted CBH's registration qualification for barley exports to China, according to the government notice.
Neither CBH nor Australia's minister for trade, Simon Birmingham, was immediately available for comment.
Though Beijing's move to suspend barley imports from CBH did not essentially affect trade, it shows that the relation between the two countries is not easing, traders said.
"Impact of removing it (CBH) is limited as we couldn't bring in Australian barley already (due to the tariffs,)" said a China-based grains trader.
"But it is a signal, showing that Australian firms will be in unfavourable situation. People will be rather cautious when buying Australian goods now," said the trader, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
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