​Media release

KAFTA continues to deliver for Australian agriculture

19 December 2017

  • The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) continues to spur growth in Australia's agricultural exports to Korea, boosting farmgate returns
  • Australia's exports of red meat, dairy and citrus have increased to Korea year on year, as tariffs have been eliminated or progressively reduced
  • The fifth round of tariff cuts under KAFTA take effect on 1 January 2018, providing further export opportunities for Australian producers.

Australia has continued to record strong increases in agricultural exports to Korea, with the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) providing significant benefits for a range of key agricultural industries.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the benefits from KAFTA were another powerful reminder of how critical free trade deals are for our nation's future.

"Improving agricultural market access is a priority for the Coalition Government, as exports underpin the profitability of our $60 billion agriculture sector, boost farmgate returns and support Australian jobs," Minister Joyce said.

"We worked hard to finalise KAFTA back in 2014, because we knew the significant benefits the tariff cuts could provide for Australia—and we are seeing more and more of those benefits come to fruition.

"Despite strong competition from the US and others, the reduction in beef tariffs from pre-KAFTA 40 per cent down to 26.6 per cent come 1 January 2018, is enabling Australia to remain a key beef supplier to Korea, with our exports worth $1.2 billion in 2016–17.

"Since KAFTA came into force on 12 December 2014, the value of our lamb exports to Korea have increased 298 per cent to $95.7 million in 2016–17, which is also a 96 per cent increase on 2015–16.

"Even when you compare just 2015–16 and 2016–17, you can see how recent tariff cuts are significantly improving the value and volume of our agricultural exports to Korea.

"Cheese exports increased 36 per cent to $53.1 million, goat meat exports increased 40 per cent to $14.8 million and orange exports increased 48 per cent to $2.9 million.

"There's no doubt Australia's clean, safe produce is in demand in Korea, with exports of agrifood products flourishing since the introduction of KAFTA.

"With the fifth round of tariff reductions coming into effect on 1 January 2018, this will deliver yet another boost for Australian exporters, farmers, producers and Australian agriculture."

Fast facts

  • In 2016–17, Korea was Australia's fifth largest agricultural export market, valued at $3.3 billion.
  • Once the rollout of KAFTA is complete, 98 per cent of Australia's agricultural exports to Korea will face zero tariffs.
  • Free trade agreements provide significant benefits for exporters, by reducing or eliminating tariffs, making Australian exports more price competitive in that market.
  • The KAFTA entered into force on 12 December 2014.
  • The fifth round of tariff cuts under KAFTA come into effect on 1 January 2018 and will include:
    • Beef tariff falling to 26.6 per cent, down from pre-KAFTA 40 per cent.
    • Tariff on both sheepmeat and goatmeat falling to 11.2 per cent, down from pre-KAFTA 22.5 per cent.
    • Increased zero-tariff quota for cheese from 5,059 metric tons in CY2017 to 5,211 metric tons in CY2018, and reduced out-of-quota tariff from 28 per cent to 26 per cent, with the out-of-quota tariff eliminated by 1 January 2031
    • Out-of-quota tariff for oranges (exported between 1 April and 30 September) reduced from 15 per cent to 10 per cent from 1 January 2018, with the season out-of-quota tariff between 1 April and 30 September eliminated by 1 January 2020.​