China bans import of meat from 6 Australian companies

Chinese authorities have given 45 days to the Australian exporters for ¬addressing the concerns.

The Dollar Business Bureau

China has barred the import of beef and lamb from six Australian companies, raising worries about the reliability of the country’s $750 million meat ­export trade with the East Asian nation. 

The temporary ban is linked to meatworks in certain locations across the three Australian states, with import authorities of China imposing the ban due to non-compliance of labels with paperwork. 

However, it is believed that the meat import ban by China is in retaliation for Australia’s move earlier this year for banning the imports of all fresh and cooked prawns from the Asian powerhouse. 

The prawn ban, which also impacted the prawns from Vietnam, was imposed by Australian government after the outbreak of white spot disease that devastated various prawn farms in the country’s Queensland state. 

The meatworks ban impacted six Australian companies including the Kilcoy abattoir at Gympie, which is owned by Chinese group New Hope and the two owned by the world’s largest meat business, Brazil’s JBS and Beef City. The others affected by the ban are Thomas Foods Group, Cannon Hill abattoir and Northern Meat Co-operative. 

Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said that he had been informed by the Chinese officials on Wednesday of the ban concerning about inconsistencies in labelling. 

Chinese authorities have given 45 days to the Australian exporters for ­addressing the concerns. 

However, the Trade Minister said that there was much more urgency to resolve the issue as ­containers of frozen beef and lamb of all the companies are due to reach in China soon. 

“The significance of this is certainly something that has mobilised action on our part; this is a crucial export industry with tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars (of meat) directly affected by these bans,” Ciobo said. 

“We want to solve this issue as expediently as possible, and to resolve the problem the China has with the meatworks,” he added. 

However, the Minister said that he has spoken to Chinese officials on Wednesday and they had agreed that meat dispatched from Australia prior to July 24 would be permitted into China.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jul 27, 2017 12:00 IST