The ABC understands a difference of opinion over import rules is to blame for China's decision to suspend imports of chilled beef from Australia.
There have been reports that China's action is because of food safety concerns, but the Australian Department of Agriculture says it has received no notification of any food safety issue.
The Department says it has also received no notification that China has banned Australian beef.
"Australia's meat production system is robust and ensures product is safe, wholesome and suitable for human consumption," an Agriculture Department spokesperson said in a statement.
"Australia successfully exports meat to over 100 countries around the world including the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the European Union, the Middle East region and China, and has done so for many years.
"China has not advised the department of a ban on the import of our chilled beef, nor has it advised the department of any food safety concerns with this product."
The ABC understands that rather than food safety, it's an issue with the rules for importing beef into China which has lead to the suspension.
It's believed that while Australian exporters understood the current China import rules, or protocols, for beef applied to both chilled and frozen product, China has now said those rules only apply to frozen beef. It has suspended imports of chilled beef from Australia until the matter can be resolved.
The ABC understands beef already in transit when that decision was taken will still be accepted into the Chinese market.
The new Minister for Trade, Andrew Robb, was unavailable for interview, but in a statement,, said that the "Australian Government works closely with trading partners to maintain exports, including working with Chinese authorities to maintain access for meat and other commodities we export to that country.
"Our trading partners occasionally seek further information about the commodities we export to them. This is the case regarding recent queries from China about our system for the production of chilled meat," Mr Robb said.
"Conditions for the export of Australian products to overseas markets are set by the importing country, just as products exported to Australia must meet our import requirements. The Australian Government works closely with trading partners and the industry concerned to ensure exported products meet the importing country requirements and maintain market access.
"Australia has a reputation second to none in the standards we adhere to."
Chilled beef still only represents about 10 per cent of all Australian beef exports to China, but along with the overall beef trade, chilled beef exports to China have increased exponentially over the past year.
The figures are almost too big to believe; high-end, restaurant-quality chilled beef exports alone have surged 1,500 per cent on last year, with the latest figures showing chilled exports are already worth more than $62 million so far in 2013.
All issues with implications for trade access into China are regarded as hugely sensitive, and all of the beef industry representatives contacted by ABC Rural today declined to comment.
But ABC understands that Australian exporters are refocusing on the chilled trade into other markets, while their representatives work to re-establish the trade into China.
In an interview with ABC Rural earlier this week, senior Rabobank analyst Sarah Sivyer indicated industry is hopeful the matter can be resolved quickly.
"There's been a very quick, relatively quick, increase in exports from Australia into China, and there was certainly going to be some teething problems in that," she said.
"That'll be sorted out, I have no doubt, relatively soon."
Meanwhile, negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and China are expected to resume before the end of the year.
China's action regarding Australian chilled beef has been viewed by many onlookers as some political manoeuvring ahead of those talks.