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China warns mills against buying Australian cotton


As the latest sign of worsening trade relations between Australia and China, Chinese cotton mills have been ordered to stop buying Australian cotton. China is the biggest buyer of Australian cotton and the trade worth was worth about A$900 million ($637.4 million) during the 2018/19 crop year.

Australia’s relationship with China soured after Canberra accused China of meddling in its domestic affairs. Relations worsened when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

China warned its millers of being hit with a 40 per cent tariff if they continue to buy from Australia. The suspension of cotton purchases comes just days after Canberra scrambled to confirm reports that China ordered the suspension of coal purchases from Australia.