Joint media release: New year, new trade opportunities for Aussie agriculture

Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt


2024 promises to be another strong year of exports for Aussie farmers, with improved market access and tariff rate cuts providing new opportunities to send produce overseas.

Australia’s network of Free Trade Agreements have already delivered new and valuable opportunities for our red meat, grain, horticulture and other agricultural industries.

But improvements in trade agreements, including those with the United Kingdom and India, will deliver new and diversified trade opportunities for Australian farmers in 2024.

Agricultural export values are forecast to reach $67 billion in 2023–24, the second highest on record, with recent rains expected to drive that forecast even higher.

Minister for Trade, Don Farrell, said the Albanese Government will continue to press hard in 2024 to create more trade opportunities for Australian businesses, exporters, farmers and producers seeking to diversify into new markets.

“At a time of heightened global uncertainty, a free, open and rules-based trading system is more important than ever,” Minister Farrell said.

“On balance, trade is a force for good. More trade means more well-paying jobs, more national income, more opportunities for business, and a lower cost of living.

“Trade agreements are an effective tool to stimulate investment, increase global demand of our premium produce, and create opportunities to diversify into overseas markets.

“The Albanese Government is committed to supporting our agricultural industry reach its $100 billion production goal by 2030.

“To assist the farming sector deliver on this objective, this Government will commence trade negotiations in 2024 with the United Arab Emirates, build on our trade deal with India, and support exporters take advantage of existing trade agreements, including with the United Kingdom.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt said 2024 would deliver new opportunities for the nation’s agriculture industry.

“These new and exciting trade opportunities have opened new doors for Aussie farmers and producers, which is particularly great news for regional communities and local jobs”, Minister Watt said.

“We’ve got a great global reputation for delicious, high-quality produce, and I’m pleased we get to show that off to more consumers around the world in 2024.

“The Albanese Government has been committed to developing strong international relationships.

“Tariff reductions and larger tariff-free quotas on key agriculture commodities under Australia’s FTAs will deliver commercially significant export diversification opportunities for our producers.

“For example, under the Australia-United Kingdom FTA, we’ve seen a big increase in the amount of beef and sheep meat being exported to the UK, significantly boosting our market access in this once restricted high-value market.”

For more information visit www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/market-access-trade/fta

Background:

Australia-United Kingdom FTA

  • Sheep meat exports to the UK were $31 million in the third quarter of 2023 - a 34.5% increase compared to the same quarter in 2022 when an FTA was not in place.
  • During the same period, beef exports increased nearly four-fold from $4.2 million to $16.6 million.
  • Off the back of horticulture tariff reductions, Australian tomatoes are now for sale in major UK retail outlets for the first time.

Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA)

  • In Korea, a further reduction in tariffs is continuing to support the competitiveness of Australian beef, with exports 32% higher compared to 2020.
  • Beef tariffs under the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) will fall to 10.6% from January 1, down from 13.3% in 2023, further increasing Australia’s competitiveness in this growing market.

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

  • This year marks a significant milestone for our trade agreement with China - remaining tariffs on Australian beef, cheese, butter and yogurt have decreased to zero.

Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA)

  • Following the Albanese Government’s hard work to bring the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) into force in December 2022, Australian exports for a range of agriculture products have increased markedly to this dynamic market of 1.4 billion people.
  • Almond exports in January-October 2023 are 124% higher than the same period in 2022.
  • Orange and mandarin exports have increased by 169% over the same period.
  • Broad beans by 264% and roundwood by 120% over the period.
  • Seafood by 138% over the same period.
  • he cotton quota under ECTA was also fully utilised in 2023 and the elimination of the 30% tariff has seen sheep meat exports to India surpass $1 million for the first time ever.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

  • Beef tariffs under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will fall to 22.5%, down from 23.3% in 2024 for Japan.
  • Australian beef can now enter Canada tariff-free with the elimination of the out-of-quota beef tariffs in 2023. Beef exports to Canada grew by 28% over 2023 (Jan-Oct) from the previous year, valued at $162 million.
  • 2022 saw Australia’s first shipment of oats to Mexico with zero tariffs under the CPTPP. In 2023, exports were worth $37.4 million (Jan-Oct 2023), up from $36,000 in 2018.
  • Likewise, Australia’s first barley exports to Mexico were in 2021 and, with zero tariffs from 2022, exports have now increased to $198 million in 2023 (Jan-Oct 2023), up from $148 million in 2022. This access into Mexico proved to be vital for Australian barley exporters seeking to diversify markets following the imposition of tariffs by China.
  • Remaining sheep meat tariffs will fall to 1% for Mexico in 2024 from 10 percent prior to entry into force and will then be fully eliminated in 2025. Total Australian exports of sheep meat to Mexico are growing with year to date (Jan-Oct 2023) exports valued at $17.5 million, 50% higher than 2022 levels.

Australia-US Free Trade Agreement

  • From January 1 onwards, beef tariffs into the US market have been fully eliminated under the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement.

Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA)

  • Tariffs on Australia's largest seafood exports to Japan, tuna, and Atlantic salmon, will be phased out by 1 April 2024.