China was the destination for 33.5pc of Australia’s exports during January-November 2020, above the previous record of 30pc in 2019. But the value of Australian exports totalled A$132.49bn ($90.32bn) during January-November compared with A$148.4bn in 2019, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
China imposed various trade sanctions on a group of Australian exports, including barley, beef, coal, copper, lobster, certain wood products and wine since Canberra earlier last year called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Australia also banned Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from building 5G telecommunications networks. Australia in November said it was considering taking China to the World Trade Organisation over import tariffs on barley.
The higher dependency on Chinese buying of Australian exports largely reflects the increase in iron ore prices last year because of China’s firmer than expected demand and supply problems from Brazil. China buys more than 80pc of Australia’s iron ore exports.
The value of Australian iron ore exports was A$103.12bn during January-November, which already exceeded the previous record of A$96.18bn for all of 2019.
The combined value of iron ore, coal and oil and gas exports are on track to fall below the record of A$233bn in 2019 because of the fall in thermal, coking coal, LNG and oil prices for much of last year. Combined export receipts from iron ore, coal and oil and LNG were A$198bn during January-November.
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