China was once Australia’s largest trading partner, largest exports destination and largest source of imports. In the past, China and Australia had close economic and trade relations. In 2015, China and Australia signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, giving each other most-favored-nation treatment, and some Australian products can be sold to China at low prices with zero tariffs.
From November 2020, China banned the import of lobster, sugar, red wine and other products from Australia, resulting in a block in the export of 11,000 tons of Australian lobster each year. Trade data shows that compared with November 2019, lobster exports to China in November 2020 have fallen by 80%.
On May 6, the National Development and Reform Commission of China announced that based on the current attitude of the Australian Federal Government on China-Australia cooperation, has decided to suspend indefinitely all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue. This decision has a huge impact on Australian lobster exports. Lost Chinese market is a big blow to the Australian seafood export industry.