China extends anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley

Grain Central, November 15, 2019

THE Australian barley industry has expressed concern with the announcement by the People’s Republic of China that it is extending its anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley exports to China.

Under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) process, anti-dumping investigations can be extended for a further six months beyond the initial 12 months of the investigation.

China has indicated the investigation will now be finalised on 19 May 2020.

The People’s Republic of China initiated an anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley exports in November 2018.

The WTO definition of dumping is when exports are sold at a price lower than the exporting country’s domestic market, and/or lower than production costs which results in ‘injury’ to the importing country’s domestic production.

Although the Australian grain industry is confident that dumping has not occurred, the likely outcome of this anti-dumping investigation is unknown at this point in time.

Possible outcomes could include the imposition of provisional import tariff/duties on Australian barley exports to China.

Australian growers should be aware of this market risk as they approach harvest and next year’s planting period.

China is Australia’s largest barley export market and Australia is the largest supplier of barley to China.

This investigation has created uncertainty within the Australian grain market, that has resulted in downward pressure on Australian barley prices.

Australia’s grain organisations: Grain Trade Australia, Grains Industry Market Access Forum, Australian Grain Exporters Council, GrainGrowers Limited and Grain Producers Australia, say they fully respect China’s right to conduct these investigations under WTO rules and have cooperated fully with China’s investigation and the WTO process.

Australian exporters, industry bodies and government provided extensive responses to China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) as part of the investigation.

They are confident that the information provided confirms that:

  • The claim of dumping, causing injury to China’s domestic barley industry is unsubstantiated;
  • The Australian grain industry operates in an open, commercial and competitive global market; and
  • The notion of dumping is not consistent with the commercial realities of the Australian grain industry.

The outcome of this investigation process remains uncertain, and several potential scenarios exist. The outlook is difficult to predict.

Growers should also be aware of the broad range of factors that may also impact barley prices over the coming season. While the issues surrounding the China export market are uncertain, other factors would include issues such as global weather and plantings for grain crops in other countries.

Growers are encouraged to consider their specific circumstances and to seek advice from their independent market advisors or consultants in relation their grain marketing and crop rotation options.

Sources: GIMAF, AGEC, GrainGrowers, GPA, GTA




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