Australian wine industry crippled with news of massive China tarrifs

Another blow for Australia’s wine industry today, with China confirming it will go ahead with massive tariffs on our exports.

Beijing had already warned Chinese businesses to stop importing Australian wine, while it carried out an investigation into ‘anti-dumping’ violations.

There are accusations that Australian producers have been selling wine for below production cost, which is hurting Chinese winemakers.


Australia has consistently denied the allegations, with China’s investigation not due to wrap up until next year.

But preliminary findings have caused Beijing to impose tariffs of up to 200 percent from this weekend, which will significantly impact Australian businesses selling in China.

The $2.9 billion-a-year industry relies on Chinese exports, with many suppliers reporting the exports account for around 40 percent of their business.

The largest company, Treasury Wine Estates – which owns Penfolds and Wolf Blass, has already put in place a trading halt, with an announcement on the company’s future expected this afternoon.

Agricultural Minister David Littleproud says the decision by China seems to be about something else, and the government will continue to support the wine industry.

“The Australian government will vigorously defend the industry, but we’re deeply concerned by this and in light of the recent comments by China, it gives the perception this decision is predicated on that rather than any wrongdoing by the wine industry, and we ask for open dialogue with them to get assurances around that.

“The trade minister and I have openly and continually tried to make sure there’s avenues for the dialogue to take place and we’ll continue to do that.

“That’s the best way in which to resolve any issue, but it has to be done in a transparent way and we’ll continue to make sure that we support the industry through this,” Mr Littleproud said.