Grain Producers SA has joined the chorus of industry representatives speaking out about China's decision to impose a dumping margin of 73.6 per cent and subsidy margin of up to 6.9pc on all barley imported from Australia for five years.
The organisation described the move as a 'significant blow' to the industry, which had been enjoying its strongest start to a growing season in years, thanks to good opening rains.
China is an incredibly important market for SA, taking more than half of the state's barley exports - which usually total about 1.5 million tonnes worth about $300m - each year.
GPSA chief executive officer Caroline Rhodes said the SA grain industry had a deep and longstanding relationship with its Chinese customers thanks to the high-quality malting grade barley it produces.
"Our growers - particularly those on the Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula - produce some of the highest-quality barley in the world and for that reason we are keen to see our strong trading relationship with Chinese maltsters and brewers continue," she said.
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"Australian farmers are among the least subsidised in the world and compete fairly in the world market.
"Barley production in SA is entirely rain-fed and we have built an enviable reputation for supplying quality and safe food. We are proud of our local industry.
"The disruption to Australia's barley trade with China will negatively impact other commodities and growers will need to carefully manage price risk in the coming months in a volatile market."
Ms Rhodes said the issue highlighted the importance of market diversification and the importance of the South Australian Grain Industry Blueprint in helping to achieve this.
"Now, more than ever, the industry needs to be investing in long-term strategies such as the blueprint," she said.
"The market opportunities and adding value pillars of the blueprint will contribute to the vision for more diverse markets of SA grain, including barley."
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