China to impose temporary anti-dumping measures on Australian wine imports

BEIJING/SYDNEY (Reuters) - China will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on wine imported from Australia from Nov. 28, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday, in a move likely to further escalate trade and diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Importers bringing in investigated products will need to pay deposits to China's customs authority, which will be calculated based on different rates the authority has assigned to various companies, according to the statement.

The rate required of Treasury Wine was 169.3%, the highest among all the named wine firms in the statement. Shares of Australia's Treasury Wine Estates Ltd, the world's largest listed winemaker, fell more than 13% before being put on a trading halt pending an announcement.

China's commerce ministry did not specify how long the measures would last for. It said that it looked into samples from a few Australian firms, including that of Treasury Wines, Casella Wines and Australia Swan Vintage.

A spokesman for Australia's Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China in August began an anti-dumping probe into imports of Australian wine at the request of the Chinese Alcoholic Drinks Association. Earlier this month, the association called for retrospective tariffs on Australian wine imports.

Beijing's latest move comes against a backdrop of increasing tension between the countries after Canberra called for an international inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus.

China is the top market for Australian wine exports and is also Australia’s largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth A$235 billion ($170 billion) last year.

(Reporting by Sophie Yu in Beijing, Byron Kaye and Jonathan Barrett in Sydney; Additional reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Sam Holmes and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

11/27/2020 2:05

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