Breakthrough in Australia’s beef with China over meat exports


Australian beef which was shipped to China before the Asian powerhouse slapped a temporary import ban on some producers will now be allowed into the country.

Australian authorities have been locked in negotiations with Chinese officials after Beijing refused to accept imports from six Australian meat processers two days ago.

The Federal Government said the Chinese Government has objected to labelling inconsistencies on boxed beef and lamb imports from Australia.

Australian officials are now scrambling to resolve the dispute.

But Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said there had been an early breakthrough in negotiations, with China agreeing to take all beef products from the meatworks which had already been shipped.

“Chinese authorities have indicated that meat already in containers on the water that was dispatched before 24th of July will still be accepted by China,” Mr Ciobo said.

“So that’s a big sigh of relief for those meat-processing facilities.”

The industry has warned the suspension could endanger exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Trade Minister said he would be willing to travel to China next week to resolve the issue quickly.

“We are making sure we do a very rapid audit of all those Australian facilities that have been affected because we want to resolve this issue as soon as we can,” Mr Ciobo said.

“If need be I’ll travel to China next week, we’ll just have a look at the merits of doing that.

“This is a major export industry for Australia and there are a lot of farmers affected.”

By Matthew Doran and Stephen Dziedzic
ABC News


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