Australian exporters are on high alert on Friday as the deadline arrives for traders in China, its biggest market, to stop buying at least seven categories of the country's commodities.
According to Chinese state media, China will place a sweeping trade ban on a growing list of Australian imports, set to take effect this week.
"And I would urge people to treat them as such, to exercise caution and to not jump to conclusions at this point in time".
"It was not an absolute order, but a suggestion", the person said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Barley and timber imports were also held up, with Chinese customs claiming that shipments may have been contaminated.
"We want to make sure they can all work through any issues and resolve them as effectively as possible".
Richard McGregor, an analyst at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, said: "The Australian government seems to have resigned itself to suffering an economic blow even in the midst of a recession, as it can hardly turn its foreign policy about under such naked pressure".
"Let's hope it's resolved and the imports continue to flow into China".
A member of staff at his company was also called to a meeting in Beijing on Monday and given the same verbal instruction, that from November 6 onwards "Australian wine will not be able to be processed until other issues were addressed", he said.
However, some analysts said exports could come under pressure in the coming months, as major European economies, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, went back into lockdown as a second wave of coronavirus cases gathered strength.Factory activity accelerated at the fastest pace in almost a decade in October, a private survey showed, although the official survey pointed to some slowdown in the expansion.
Australian wine sold through Chinese online retailer G-Shop outside Shanghai.
East China Normal University Australian Studies Centre director Chen Hong told the outlet that if Australia continued to sabotage bilateral relations, "it will pay an unbearable price".
Senator Simon Birmingham is seeking further clarification from the Chinese government on the situation.
Trade with the European Union, where lockdown measures are returning, fell in October with exports contracting 7 per cent year-on-year and imports only growing a modest 8.4 per cent.
"This is all about giving more options to Australian exporters", he said.
If the threat becomes reality, the value of Australian exports to China would be slashed by around $5 to $6 billion annually.
North Queensland Bulk Ports CEO Nicolas Fertin.
China's exports have stayed largely resilient amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, as strong demand for medical supplies and reduced manufacturing capacity elsewhere worked in China's favour.