Grape & Wine Australian chief executive Tony Battaglene told Bloomberg on Friday that the industry group would likely recommend filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization. China was, until recently, Australia’s largest wine export market.
Relations between Australia and China began to deteriorate last April after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. A number of Australian exports – including lumber, beef and some types of charcoal – quickly began to experience difficulties entering the Chinese market.
Chinese investments in Australia plunged to just over A $ 1 billion ($ 763 million) in 2020, down 62% from the previous year, according to a report released earlier this month by the Australian National University’s Chinese Investment in Australia database.
The value of wine exports to China fell to almost zero in December, according to statistics from industry group Wine Australia.
– Laura He and Ben Westcott contributed reporting.