National Farmers' Federation

Statement on agricultural exports to China

President Fiona Simson said the National Farmers’ Federation was concerned about disruptions to agricultural trade between Australia and China.

“Two thirds of Australia’s farm production is exported. Almost one third of this, 28 per cent, is exported to China, including 18% of our total beef production and 49% of our barley.” Ms Simson said.

“China is an important market for a range of commodities including wool, cotton, grain, dairy, seafood and horticulture.

“The relationship has only continued to grow since the coming into force of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2015.

“However, we recognise in relationships as significant as that between Australia and China, from time to time, issues do arise.

“When they do it is important that both parties work together in a respectful manner to, as soon as possible, resolve the challenge, to an end that is satisfactory to both.

“We, along with our members and industry, are in close contact with the Federal Government, and have every confidence in the Government’s ability to bring the issues at hand to a timely resolution.”

Ms Simson said agriculture had the potential to soften the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian economy, at a time when so many other sectors had come under pressure.

“Fortunately, Australian farmers, are for the most part, continuing as business as usual in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People across the world still need to eat and to be clothed and we’re getting on with producing the food and fibre needed to do this.

“With many regions recovering from drought and commodity prices on the whole – strong, agriculture is well placed to continue to provide the injection our economy so badly needs now and into the future.

“Maintaining and growing our farm exports will be a key component to our nation weathering the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Simson said.

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