China bans timber and barley imports from Australia; copper and sugar to follow

China has banned the import of Australian timber and barley, and more bans are expected on copper ore, copper concentrate and sugar, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP). These latest trade bans and blocks follow a seven-month conflict between Beijing and Canberra, which has seen Australian barley hit with new duties, Chinese bans on Australian beef exports, coal and cotton, and a new anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine.

The General Administration of Customs of China has issued a warning notice to exporters saying that it had found a pest, the bark beetle Ips grandicollis, in imported log timber from Queensland and has banned all log exports from the Australian state. A China foreign ministry spokesman confirmed that Chinese authorities have repeatedly found “biohazards” in imports of Australian timber.

China’s customs agency also said it had found contamination in barley shipments from Australian grain exporter Emerald Grain and had ceased imports from the company from Friday. The contamination was from bromus rigidus, a grasslike weed.

According to multiple Chinese trade sources, the bans on copper ore, copper concentrate and sugar are likely to be enacted this week. 

Source: SCMP