Grain growers were well aware that China had barley imports in the gun, so the announcement of penalty tariffs came as no surprise - but the severity was brutal.
An 18-month investigation by China was due to be completed by May 19, however given the spurious reasons offered it would be fair to assume it knew what the action would be from the outset.
What is abundantly clear is that China will do what China will do, paying no heed to ramifications of exporting farmers or countries.
No, China is certainly not our friend - in fact maybe its description of chewy on the boot is apt.
It is relevant that Australian barley growers, over the years, have become more and more dependent on China for a destination of malting and feed barley.
It has become a soft underbelly just what China needed as a target in retaliation to anti-dumping measures instigated by Australia on a wide range of Chinese export products.
Chinese investigations began in November 2018, and what it wanted was time to get its ducks in a row.
It is coincidental the announcement of tariffs came at the same time it was being taken to task over coronavirus by our federal government.
The two are simply not related, however the attack on meat exports is a soft blow without long-term ramifications and that could well be political posturing.
China is in deep do-do with pork production slashed due to swine fever and it does need to import protein, beef and sheep meat.
In 2017-18, Australia exported about 6.5 million tonnes to China.
In 2018-19, this dropped to 2.4 million tonnes due to our severe drought and the implied threats in the investigation.
Australian barley has always attracted a premium due to its quality and that is where the impact on growers will hit the hardest.
It is irrelevant to its thinking that irrigation plays a very minor part in barley cropping.
We in Australia need to take a deep breath and wait.
There is no doubt that, on a broad scale, China is on the nose worldwide and it is China that will need to mend fences.