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Coronavirus shutdown may have peaked in China but Australian exporters still struggling due to airfreight by Jessica Hayes and Jon Daly March 26,2020   |  Source: ABC

Australian agriculture and seafood exporters facing financial ruin are desperate to reconnect trade with the Chinese market, as green shoots appear following an easing of the coronavirus pandemic there.

But one economic expert has warned China's economic recovery is not assured.

Before the pandemic, Brad Adams' ASX-listed export company Ocean Grown Abalone had a market value of $30 million, but that has now halved.

He is among countless Australian seafood exporters desperate to reconnect the airfreight supply chain to get his product to key export markets.

"We're like restaurants. If we can't sell our product, we can't survive," Mr Adams said.

"To have all airlines around the world grounded has ground world trade to a halt for these perishable products."

Mr Adams said the cost to send airfreight had doubled and, in some cases, quadrupled, making it uneconomic for many producers.

On the other hand, Mr Adams said the Chinese economy was beginning to show signs of recovery and that demand for his produce still existed — he was just unable to get it to market.

Ocean Grown Abalone is the biggest employer in the regional town of Augusta, in Western Australia's South West, and the company has had to halve production and lay off staff while the borders are

 

© 2020 ABC

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