China lifts Aussie beef import ban

The West Australian
Australian beef will once again be available in Chinese supermarkets.
Camera IconAustralian beef will once again be available in Chinese supermarkets. Credit: TheWest

Cattle farmers can breathe a sigh of relief after China lifted an import ban on Australian beef, which had lasted several months.

China’s quarantine agency imposed the ban in late July after discovering labels on some boxes of exported beef did not match packet labels inside.

While the country agreed to accept meat sent from Australia before July 24, the suspension had affected six processors.

Acting Prime Minister Julie Bishop said it was “very good news” given the beef export industry was worth about $670 million to the Australian economy each year.

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“There were some issues regarding labelling regulations that have now been resolved very quickly,” she said in Perth.

“Given the strength of the trading relationship between Australia and China and the fact that we have a high-quality, comprehensive free-trade agreement between our two countries, it’s pleasing that this matter has been resolved.”

There had been speculation the ban had been related to Ms Bishop’s comments on China’s military ambitions but Ms Bishop said Chinese officials had not raised any concerns with her.

Other exporting countries — including Canada and Germany — have had their trade suspended for similar breaches over the past year.

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