China's imports from Australia fall 5.3% in 2020 amid worsening ties
Published: Jan 14, 2021 01:18 PM

An iron ore mining site in Australia Photo: cnsphotos

Australia's constant hostility toward China, its largest trading partner, throughout the coronavirus-haunted 2020, was shown to have put a significant dent in its export-reliant economy, with China's imports from Australia recording an annual decline of 5.3 percent in US dollar terms, according to Chinese customs data on Thursday.

China's exports to Australia rose 10.9 percent year-on-year in 2020, however, its imports from Australia, known for being built on iron ore, shrank 5.3 percent.

This contraction in yuan terms was less severe as the yuan grew in strength compared to the US dollar over the past year. 

The country's imports from Australia were down 4.6 percent in yuan terms, while exports rose 11.2 percent, the General Administration of Customs revealed at a press conference on Thursday, during which it was confirmed that iron ore took up the lion's share of imports from Australia.

The declining imports arguably bode ill for the already-struggling Australian economy. Despite a partial recovery in the September quarter of 2020, Australia's economic activity still shrank 3.8 percent through the year to the September quarter, according to figures released in December by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

These readings apparently indicate the destructive impacts to bilateral trade caused by Canberra's self-damaging moves which seemingly followed in the footsteps of the Trump administration to pressure China.

China's exports to Australia were up 1.8 percent in dollar terms in 2019, while imports clocked in a gain of 14.8 percent, per Chinese customs figures. 

Global Times 

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