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Australia welcomes removal of Chinese wine tariffs

Published:  28 March, 2024

The Chinese Commerce Ministry has confirmed that China will end three years of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian wine from March 29.

The tariffs of up to 218.4% were first imposed in March 2021 shortly after Australian government officials initiated a probe into the origin of Covid-19.

However, relations have improved in the last year with China steadily softening its stance on other Australian imports such as barley and coal.

The Commerce Ministry said: “Given the situation in China's wine market has changed, the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariff imposed on wine imported from Australia is no longer necessary.”

Before the tariffs, China was Australia’s largest wine export market valued at around $1.1bn aided by a free trade agreement in 2015, giving Australia a 14% tariff advantage over other nations.

According to figures published by the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Australian wine accounted for only 0.14% of Chinese wine imports in the first half of 2023, compared to 27.46% during the same period in 2020, before the duties were imposed.

The Australian government said in a statement: “Since 2020, China’s duties on Australian wine effectively made it unviable for Australian producers to export bottled wine to that market. Australia's wine exports to China were worth $1.1bn in 2019.”

Meanwhile, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), Australia's top publicly listed wine producer, welcomed the news that tariffs on Australian wine imports into China will be reduced to nil.

“The removal of tariffs on Australian wine exports to China is terrific news and is cause for celebration across the Australian wine industry and with our partners and consumers in China,” said Tim Ford, CEO of Treasury Wine Estates.

“It’s a testament to the continued stabilising of relations between both countries by the respective governments and the ongoing partnerships maintained between Australian businesses and our Chinese counterparts.

“Treasury Wine Estates has remained committed to China as demonstrated by our continued investment in the market through our local presence with more than 120 team members and partnerships contributing to Penfolds continued strong brand awareness in China.

“This announcement signals the start of our ramp-up to re-establish our Australian luxury and premium wine distribution in China and it shouldn’t be too long before local Chinese consumers have more access to our great wines,” Ford added. 

TWE has said it will re-establish distribution for Penfolds' entry-level Australian COO portfolio, including Penfolds’ Max’s, Koonunga Hill and One by Penfolds to China immediately as well as re-allocate a portion of Penfolds Bin and Icon tiers from other global markets to progressively re-build distribution to China.