Australia-China relations have been on thin ice in 2020, but how has this affected ASX stocks with a China focus?

The heightening of tensions was clear through the news of tariff on Australian barley and wine, the withdrawal of accreditations from certain abattoirs and an anti-dumping investigation into the Australian wine industry.

A look at a list of ASX stocks with exposure to China shows a mixed picture across different sectors and companies.

Most stocks fell in the early part of 2019 as COVID-19 first spread across the world but some have been able to recover fast.

Code Company Price %Mth %Yr MktCap
DW8 Digital Wine Venture 0.046 12 557 $69.3M
FMG Fortescue Metals Grp 20.58 20 105 $56.1B
EVE EVE Investments Ltd 0.01 11 100 $38.4M
NZS New Zealand Coastal 0.026 13 87 $14.9M
ILU Iluka Resources 5.65 11 14 $2.3B
CSS Clean Seas Ltd 0.82 22 14 $91.6M
FSF Fonterra Share Fund 4.2 -2 11 $446.8M
NUC Nuchev Limited 1.1 -19 0 $42.8M
MRQ Mrg Metals Limited 0.011 57 0 $14.9M
BKL Blackmores Limited 79.42 13 -3 $1.5B
MGX Mount Gibson Iron 0.79 20 -4 $871.6M
A2M The A2 Milk Company 13.11 -3 -13 $10.0B
TGR Tassal Group Limited 3.55 1 -19 $752.3M
IMA Image Resources NL 0.19 3 -22 $183.5M
S66 Star Combo 0.35 13 -27 $47.1M
AU8 Aumake Limited 0.075 0 -29 $27.3M
OGA Ocean Grown Abalone 0.096 5 -31 $19.3M
KTD Keytone Dairy 0.265 26 -34 $66.7M
RLG Roolife Group Ltd 0.023 -18 -37 $13.9M
BUB Bubs Aust Ltd 0.665 6 -38 $407.5M
HUO Huon Aquaculture Grp 2.75 1 -39 $301.1M
SM1 Synlait Milk Ltd 4.93 1 -45 $1.1B
TWE Treasury Wine Estate 8.74 -5 -53 $6.2B
MPH Mediland Pharm 0.092 -8 -68 $28.8M
ZNO Zoono 1.36 -15 465 $224.0M
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ASX stocks still winners from China

The stock with the biggest gain is bacteria killer Zoono (ASX:ZNO). While this ASX stock is well off its highs seen earlier this year it is still up 465 per cent in 12 months due to rapid demand for its products.

Next up is iron ore exporter Fortescue (ASX:FMG) which has more than doubled in 12 months and yesterday hit an all time high. The company almost exclusively exports iron ore, a critical element for steel, to China and has benefited from China’s faster economic recovery.

The one other big winner is seafood exporter New Zealand Coastal Seafood (ASX:NZS)It exports fish bladder (specifically ling maw) to Asian markets including China, where it is considered a delicacy.

Other winners, albeit more modest included NZS’ South Australian peer Clean Seas Seafood (ASX:CSS) and large cap mineral sands producer Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) which like Fortescue was a beneficiary of China’s economic rebound.


The Losers in 2020

However a number of stocks have felt the pinch, the most notable being Treasury Wines Estates (ASX:TWE) which is down 53 per cent in 2020. Its share price felt the effect of China’s anti-dumping investigation as well as its latest round of tariffs.

The most impacted stock is Mediland Pharm (ASX:MPH) which has shed over two thirds of its value. It runs retail stores aimed at “daigou” buying Chinese tourists – a market which has been all but wiped out with Australia’s borders closed.

Its peer AuMake (ASX:AU8) suffered a similar hit earlier this year but shares have recovered since it pivoted to the online space and began reaching customers again.

Several dairy and infant formula exporters including A2 Milk (ASX:A2M)Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB)Nuchev (ASX:NUC) and Synlait (ASX:SM1) have all fallen too. Of these, a handful have been looking to other Asia markets in 2020 including Bubs and Nuchev.

Vitamin sellers Star Combo Pharma (ASX:S66) and Blackmores (ASX:BKL) are down too.