The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has also received reports from agricultural companies that orders have dried up for some products while Anglo Coal has confirmed an Indian ship with 160,000 tonnes of its coal on board has been prevented from leaving China, even after Japan had agreed to buy the cargo.
Woodside has also said potential Chinese investors in an LNG project had pulled out of the deal as trade tensions increase.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has also told industries that while it would continue to facilitate market access and seek to ensure importing country requirements were up to date and accurate, “the department encourages exporters to fully consider their own risk and potential losses”
CCIQ policy advisor Gus Mandigora said members were reporting delays or not getting orders after hearing rumours that Chinese buyers have been asked not to buy Australian products.
“I was speaking to an exporter yesterday who said their agricultural product normally peaks in demand in November and they have had no orders. We have also heard that from a machinery exporter,” Mandigora said.
“We think it will have an impact on the (Queensland) economy because exports are a key part of the economy.
“We feel a lot of SMEs will be affected because the whole value chain is a lot of small producers and family-owned business. It will hit the bottom line, it will hit a lot of small businesses and a lot of artisans particularly in far north Queensland.”
He said diversification of the markets was now a really important strategy.
“The Federal Government needs to keep woking that diplomatic channel. It’s taking time and there hasn’t been much joy in getting a response from their Chinese counterparts but they need to keep doing it even though it seems to be an intractable problem,” he said.