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China suspends beef imports from sixth Australian beef supplier

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Monday it had suspended imports of beef from Australia’s Meramist Pty Ltd, the sixth supplier to face such a move in a country that is one of China’s main meat suppliers.

China, which did not say why it took the latest decision, has already banned imports from five other Australian beef suppliers this year, citing reasons that have included issues with labelling and health certificates.

Australia’s ties with top trade partner China, already strained, significantly deteriorated after Canberra called for an enquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

China stopped receiving applications and registration for beef exports from the Meramist plant from Dec. 7, China’s General Administration of Customs said in a notice on its website, without giving a reason.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

In May, China banned imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors citing issues with labelling and health certificates. In August, it suspended imports from a fifth plant.

Reporting by Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu; Editing by Catherine Evans and Edmund Blair

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