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Oz wines hit with huge Chinese import taxes

Published:  30 November, 2020

China has imposed taxes of up to 212% on imports of Australian wine.

The taxes, which came into effect on Saturday, follow an anti-dumping investigation launched by the Chinese government in August.

China’s ministry of commerce has characterised the taxes, which range from 107% to 212%, as temporary measures to stop subsidised imports.

In recent years, China has become Australia’s most important export territory for wine, with annual sales reaching AUD$1.2bn.

A number of Australian winemakers have been singled out for the new duties, including TWE, Casella Wines and Australian Swan Vintage.

TWE, which has invested heavily in building its business in China, including establishing its own distribution hub, saw its share price fall back 13% on the news.

David Littleproud, minister for agriculture in the Australian government, defended the country’s winemakers. "The Australian government categorically rejects any allegation that our wine producers are dumping product into China," he said.

"Australian wine is hugely popular both in China and across the globe due to its high quality and we are confident that a full and thorough investigation will confirm this."

The new taxes are part of a wide ranging trade dispute between the two countries. Other Australian imports targeted by China include coal, sugar and barley.