Australian exports of wine to mainland China have almost completely dried up after the Chinese government imposed tariffs of more than 200% last year in an escalating trade spat.
Shipments in the three months ended March 31 plummeted to just A$12 million ($9.4 million) from A$325 million in the same period a year earlier, Wine Australia said Thursday. China used to be Australia’s biggest wine export market.
China last month formalized tariffs of more than 200% on Australian wine for five years, though the higher duties had been in place since November. The tariffs followed a raft of measures barring Australian imports from coal and copper to barley last year.
The slump in China was too steep to compensate for increased shipments from Australia to the U.K., Germany and New Zealand: The value of Australia’s total wine exports fell 4% to A$2.77 billion in the year ended March.
Duties on Treasury Wine Estates Ltd., the Australian winemaker best known for its Penfolds brand, were set at 175.6%.
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