Outlook for China-Australia trade bleak, agribusiness experts warn

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China’s bitter political spat with Australia continues to hurt exports and there are warnings it could drag on for years, getting worse before it gets better.

Agribusiness experts have little optimism Australia’s trade with China will improve over the next five years, fearing the relationship will get worse before it gets better.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Thursday show the nation’s trade surplus surged by $3.009bn in December to a record $10.142bn in January – the 37th successive monthly trade surplus and easily beating expectations of a $7.5bn net benefit.

While Australia’s annual exports to China rose from $145.06bn to $146.52bn over the month, they were down 2.1 per cent on a year ago.

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