NOT CONCERNED: Symphony Hill Wines owner Ewen Macpherson believes the wine tariff won’t impact Granite Belt wineries. Pics Adam Head
NOT CONCERNED: Symphony Hill Wines owner Ewen Macpherson believes the wine tariff won’t impact Granite Belt wineries. Pics Adam Head

Hefty tariffs dries up Granite Belt wine exports to China

A CRIPPLING tariff on Australia’s wine export market to China has created greater uncertainty for Granite Belt producers.

The Chinese Government announced on Saturday that tariffs, ranging from 107 per cent to more than 200 per cent, would be placed on wines imported from Australia.

The tariffs are expected to halt the export of locally produced wine for at least 12 months and follows allegations that Australian wine makers had been ‘dumping’ product on the market.

Symphony Hill Wines owner Ewan Macpherson said the latest announcement from the Chinese Government was of little consequence to Ballandean Estate.

“The impact is already there regardless of any tariff,” Mr Macpherson said.

“I don’t think any of my customers will order any wine when there is a tariff.”

Investigations launched by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in August saw a ban placed on all imported Australian wine.

Australia’s wine export market is reportedly worth $1.26 billion annually and is the country’s leading foreign market, ahead of barley, cotton and cattle.

Mr Macpherson believed the ban on Australian wine was purely political.

“It’s all political and the small0to-medium businesses will be devastated by this attack on their product,” he said.

“It’s harder for Australian producers and it’s very hard to stick up for our rights.”

While there’s no certainty as to what Australia’s export future will look like, Mr Macpherson said the Granite Belt’s domestic market had increased exponentially.

“The beauty of the Granite Belt wine industry is that most of our wine is direct to customer and being supported by them,” he said.

“That’s the market we’ve been concentrating on and it’s grown exponentially since everyone was allowed to go out.”

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