CHINA has announced restrictions on imports of Australian logs.
This is expected to hurt exporters from Queensland and Victoria in particular.
A spokesperson for the Australian Forest Products Association said they were aware of the ban.
“AFPA is aware that Chinese customs authorities have notified the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment that it has suspended the export of logs from Victoria due to phytosanitary concerns, in addition to the existing suspension of log exports from Queensland,” the spokesperson said.
“AFPA is working with the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment to obtain more details from Chinese officials about these incidents and to address the issues identified.”
The ports of Melbourne and Brisbane are among those terminals that have a significant log trade.
“We understand that Chinese officials have raised biosecurity concerns with log suppliers,” a Port of Brisbane spokesperson said.
“We hope all issues can be resolved as soon as possible so log exports can continue.”
Chinese customs officials notified the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment recently of the ban after 12 shipments from Victoria this year contained a pest known as bark beetle.
In a statement to China Global Television Network, China’s General Administration of Customs spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the decision was in line with national laws and international practice.
However, he also appeared to confirm that the bans went beyond simple trade matters.
“Some people on the Australian side, without any evidence, have slandered and accused China of engaging in so-called interference and infiltration with Australia, and have politicized, stigmatized and imposed unwarranted restrictions on normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia,” Mr Wang said.
This latest ban follows restrictions on Australian cotton, beef, wine, coal and rock lobster and occurs at a time of geo-political tension between the nations.