Australia's beef industry is "presuming nothing" as talk ramps up that China may very soon take action on the last of the agriculture sanctions it has in place in the wake of concerted diplomatic efforts at the highest level.
Trade Minister Don Farrell has been in the ear of Chinese officials at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in the United States and that comes on the back of what has been described as very productive interactions between the Prime Minister and China's President.
Mr Farrell has declared his confidence that the sanctions on beef and lobsters will be removed, possibly before Christmas.
Ten red meat processing plants remain temporarily suspended from supplying China on technical issues ranging from labelling to alleged residue detection.
Two facilities were slapped with a suspension due to self-reporting for COVID three years ago.
All the plants involved moved quickly to collect and supply all the information requested by China immediately. That's where things stalled.
So while the diplomatic discussions are welcomed by the beef industry, nothing is being taken for granted.
Australian Meat Industry Council boss Patrick Hutchinson said politicians shaking hands was one thing but it was bureaucrats flicking switches that was needed.
"China will move in the way it moves," he said.
"We forget it's the world's biggest bureaucracy.
"We have been waiting in this deep freeze since May 2020 and they have all the data and confidence they need yet nothing has changed, so we will continue to wait."
Mr Farrell made the point that the lobster and beef industry sanctions were biosecurity related, unlike the tariff-related issues with barley and wine.
Due to the technical nature of meat exporting, some believe the beef industry may have been an easy target when geopolitical relations between Australia and China started to sour.
Mr Hutchinson says beef was certainly one of the first to be hit.
Still, China remains Australia's largest market for sheepmeat and second largest for beef, with a 50 per cent increase to meat exports to China this year over the 2022 levels.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.