Australia confident of end to China wine tariffs early in 2024

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s government on Sunday said it was confident punitive tariffs on Australian wine introduced by China in 2021 would be lifted early next year.

“I would be very confident that early in the new year we will get a favourable result from the Chinese authorities to lift the ban on Australian wine,” Trade Minister Don Farrell told Sky News television on Sunday.

“That’ll be very important for Australian winemakers; we’re coming into the processing season.”

The comments come after the two sides in October announced they had reached a consensus to settle a World Trade Organisation dispute about wine and that anti-dumping tariffs, which were not set to expire until 2026, would be reviewed.

Australia lodged a complaint over China’s tariffs on its wine at the WTO in 2021. Until the tariffs, China was Australia’s top wine export market, peaking at A$1.2 billion ($804 million) for the 12 months to January 2020.

In November, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited China, the first visit by a sitting Australian leader since 2016 as the centre-left Labor government continued to work on stabilising strained ties with Beijing.

China has now lifted trade blocks on most Australian exports imposed in the wake of Australia’s call for an international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

($1 = 1.4934 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney; editing by Jonathan Oatis)