Treasury Wine Estates says it has been advised that the China Alcoholic Drinks Association (CADA) has submitted a written request to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) that imports of Australian wine in containers of two litres or less into China be subject to retrospective tariffs.
TWE made the comment in an announcement to the ASX on Wednesday afternooon.
The move follows speculation that China will stop imports of Australian wine on Friday. Chinese state media has confirmed this today.
Australian winemakers have been fully cooperating with China’s request for information as part of two investigations into Australian wine exports to China.
“The request (from CADA) is associated with the ongoing anti-dumping investigation initiated by MOFCOM,” the TWE statement says.
“It is not known whether MOFCOM will accept CADA’s request, whether tariffs will be determined to apply to the products as a result of the anti-dumping investigation, or if they do, whether they will be applied retrospectively.
“If MOFCOM decides to accept CADA’s request, it will make a public announcement to that effect.
“TWE will continue to engage proactively with its customers in China to both assess the impact of this request on future import orders and support them in any new process requirements.
“Whilst engagement with customers is ongoing TWE is not in a position to provide an assessment of the financial impact of this development in F21.”
TWE says it is also aware of recent media reports and speculation relating to a potential embargo on imports of Australian exports, including wine, into China.
“TWE has not had any advice ornotification from the Chinese authorities in relation to this and is not in a position to comment on those reports at this point in time,” it says.
The Australian has reported that more than a dozen wine exhibitors at China’s premier trade fair have had their products stopped by Customs.
“The hold-up of wine being sold at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai – a centrepiece event for Australia’s biggest trading partner – came after more than $2 million of live rock lobster was spoiled after a four-day delay at Shanghai Pudong Airport,” the report says.
Australian wine exports to mainland China are worth $1.2 billion.