New AgForce Queensland Grains President, Brendan Taylor.
New AgForce Queensland Grains President, Brendan Taylor. contributed

China's barley tariff a 'kick in the guts' for Downs farmers

FOR barley producer Brendan Taylor, China's new 80 per cent tariff on imports of the grain is just another kick in the guts for the already hurting agriculture sector.

"It's certainly going to maybe put some growers in two minds on whether to plant barley this winter," the Warra farmer said.

"There are many farmers across the Downs who haven't grown a crop for two seasons or more, because of the drought." 

Mr Taylor, who is also president of AgForce's grain division, said while the new tariff would hurt some local farmers, the vast majority of barley grown on the Darling Downs went to feedlots and was not exported.

The tariff on barley exports comes just days after China banned Beef City from exporting to it over labelling issues.

At the same time, political tensions and talks of a trade war have ramped up between Australia and China over the COVID-19 crisis. 


Food Leaders Australia general manager Bruce McConnel said the tariff was more disruption for an "already disrupted market".

"Fortunately Australian barley is able to move to other markets such as the Middle East but the loss of premium prices paid by Chinese brewers will have a large impact," he said.

"The flip side of this is that feedlotters in the region, whom have been paying significant prices for feed over the last few years, will see some level of reprieve to improve their viability, right when store price are also reaching near record level."