China resumed imports of Australian barley in October, with the amount reaching 313,700 tons worth $88.4 million, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Monday.
This is the first batch of imports in more than three years after China imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian barley and ended the measures on August 5. Analysts said that the barley imports can be seen as an important symbol of the recovery of China-Australia trade relations.
Australia quickly became China's second-largest source of barley imports in October in terms of value, after the imports from France worth $182.4 million, the GAC data showed.
In the first nine months of 2023, France became the largest exporter of barley to China, with the volume totaling 255.36 million tons, according to market agency Mysteel.
According to statistics from Australia, China is a major buyer of Australian barley. Barley is one of the top three agricultural products that Australia exports to China, with about 70 percent of Australia's barley being sold to China.
Trade has also resumed for Australian hay, another commodity that used to rely mainly on the Chinese market, the Global Times learned from a document recently released by the GAC.
China's trade with Australia stood at $18.61 billion in October, with imports worth $11.96 billion.
This is partly a result of the substantial improvement in China-Australia relations, and can also be seen as the Australian government's pragmatic policy toward China and China's positive response, Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre at East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Monday.
The visit to China by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in early November was seen as a symbolic event for China-Australia economic and trade exchanges. Albanese also attended the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
This was Albanese's first visit to China since taking office and the first visit by an Australian prime minister since 2016.
China is Australia's most important trading partner, accounting for more than 25 percent of Australia's exports, more than the next three trade partners - the US, South Korea and Japan - combined, and one-quarter of the country's jobs depend on trade, said Albanese during his visit to China.
"The economies of China and Australia are strongly complementary. China's vast market provides many opportunities for Australian agricultural products. Maintaining a good cooperative relationship will not only benefit the economic development of both countries, but also ultimately benefit the people," said Chen.