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November 18, 2020 | Reuters

Barley Trade Routes Redrawn as China Tariff Hits Australia

Australia typically accounts for up to 40% of world’s malting barley trade

Out in Australia’s grain fields, farmers have started harvesting one of their biggest ever barley crops, reports Reuters.

Yet the tractors are working under the cloud of a new tariff imposed by China, which is prompting a rapid reconfiguration of global trade in the grain.

Diplomatic and trade relations between Australia and China have deteriorated rapidly this year, with several categories of Australian goods now subject to Chinese trade restrictions or probes.

Australia typically accounts for up to 40% of the world’s malting barley trade, used in beer production, and 20% of feed barley. Well over half its total exports, around 6 million tonnes in a good year, go to China.

This will now either be stored, sold domestically or sent to alternate markets, such as top buyer Saudi Arabia, if new deals can be negotiated.

Read the full report at Reuters.

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