Even before Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in November 2014, the Chinese export market was already the largest for Tasmania.
And since then, it has only grown to become three times bigger than any other market, driven by a massive increase in Tasmanian zinc, base metals and tin exports.
It also saw a dramatic increase in Chinese demand for Tasmanian seafood, particularly abalone, salmon and rock lobster.
In 2014-15, Tasmania exported $35 million worth of seafood to China. By 2018-19, this had grown to $161 million.
Earlier this year seafood became the first industry to become exposed to the risks of the coronavirus pandemic. As China shut down, so too did the country's demand for Tasmanian produce for its hospitality industries.
Trade tensions have now put at risk hundreds of millions of dollars of exports as China threatens to look elsewhere for products once sourced from Australia, adding import tariffs and leaving produce to spoil upon arrival.
'We're selling off the boats at wharves'
When news broke in early November that South Australian and Western Australian rock lobster was not being processed in Chinese customs clearance houses, the Tasmanian industry hoped for a quick resolution with the season just weeks away.
They had already been hit hard in 2020 with prices plunging.
Now with no resolution coming, the Tasmanian rock lobster industry is facing a crisis.
Well over 90 per cent of its product is exported to China.
Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishermen's Association executive officer John Sansom said product is no longer being sent to China.
"The exporters aren't willing to take risks, the importers aren't making orders," he said.
"We're reliant on the local market at the moment and we're selling off the boats at wharves. The prices aren't high, it's good value for consumers, but very little profit.
"They're being sent to the mainland but now you're competing with Victoria, South Australia and others in the same market. We're hopeful of an increase in sales towards Christmas, but it's not sustainable in the long-term."
Prices have dropped to between $30 and $45 per kilogram from above $60. To make a profit, rock lobster must sell for above that $30 mark.
Mr Sansom said shipments have already been sent to alternative markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, but he was still hopeful of maintaining the Chinese market in the long-term.
Minerals sector diverse enough to ride out shocks
Tasmania benefits from a diverse minerals sector without an over-reliance on one commodity or a single market, as occurs in some mainland states.
Iron ore and tin dominate the local export market for ores and concentrates, but processed zinc, aluminium and other base metals bring in similar levels of revenue for local companies.
Iron ore appears to be the only mineral that has a relatively heavy reliance on the Chinese market. But even then, some mining companies are owned by Chinese interests and so the trade tensions are unlikely to have much impact.
China only accounts for a small proportion of zinc exports, and a minuscule amount of Tasmanian aluminium.
Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council chief executive officer Ray Mostogl said the diverse range of product and the ability to access other markets meant the minerals sector was robust enough to ride out trade shocks with China - although some companies could be impacted.
"Fortunately from a Tasmanian point of view our minerals go to many, many different countries so we are not exclusively going into China," he said.
"So even if China did stop some of the minerals from Tasmania we still have other markets. The individual business may suffer but in terms of the overall sector there is a fair bit of diversification in terms of the customers."
The manufacturing sector could face a second hand consequence if China stopped sending product to be assembled in Tasmania.
Wood's quick search for a new market
China started to block Australian timber imports this month, claiming they carried live pests. The product had already been subject to increasing tariffs as part of global trade tensions, but this signalled a severe escalation.
The impact quickly flowed through to Tasmania, which exported almost $50 million worth of wood product to China in 2018-19.
Tasmanian Forest Products Association chief executive officer Nick Steel said China no longer seemed willing to take Tasmanian logs, harming local businesses.
"It has been very immediate so it is hard for [exporters] to change quickly with the market or even another export market because it takes quite some time to actually develop those relationships to open up those export markets into other countries," he said.
"For our members it ... is an immediate hit to their bottom line too.
"The big risk is if [the ban] goes into other products."
Businesses that exported into China are now reassessing where to send their logs, but Mr Steele said this was a difficult short-term proposition.
Strong cherry brand to help through turbulent times
China is an important market for Tasmanian cherries, but the industry is still waiting to see what impact the trade war could have locally.
Product is exported in late December and January, with Tasmania the last Australian cherry market to enter China.
Exporters in other states were able to get their product to China in recent months.
Fruit Growers Tasmania chief executive officer Peter Cornish said it was an important market.
"[China] is in the 20-25 per cent range so it is up there in the top two markets. But, it has been a very long standing market for Tasmanian exporters and they have got very long standing relationships with their customers in China," he said.
"It is really important and positive that other states have started their exporting including to China and we've seen no issues at all.
"Thankfully we have a very strong brand and Tasmanian cherries are very strong."