Australian grain producers have welcomed initial moves to deliver tariff reductions that will improve market access for Australian grains exported to India.
Grain Producers Australia Chair, Barry Large, said the Australian Government’s weekend announcement of outcomes from the Interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade agreement (IA-ECTA) were a good starting point with positive signals for Australian grains.
However, Mr Large said the government needed to continue pushing to remove trade barriers in the comprehensive negotiations, to ensure Australian grain producers realise the market’s significant potential benefits, given major grains such as chickpeas and wheat missed out in the interim deal.
“We acknowledge these initial outcomes for the Australian grains industry in the IA-ECTA with Minister Tehan’s leadership and the Australian Government’s work pursuing these sensitive trade negotiations,” he said.
“We understand this initial deal will have entry into force in the second half of 2022 and comes with the intention for Australia and India to finalise a comprehensive agreement by the end of the year to secure even broader outcomes.
“Reducing tariffs and other trade barriers for Australian grains such as chickpeas will not only open up better opportunities for Australian growers, it can also deliver real benefits for 1.3 billion Indian consumers who can access our high-quality products in their daily diets.”
Grain Producers SA Chief Executive Officer Brad Perry welcomed any tariff reductions for the grain industry, noting the Indian market can often be challenging to access for agricultural commodities, particularly pulse legumes, which play a major role in crop rotations in SA.
“South Australian growers welcome the opportunity to contribute more of our grains to help put food on household tables around the world and further assist with food security,” Mr Perry said.
“Delivering stability and certainty is vitally important for ensuring long-term growth opportunities from our trading relationship with India – especially in areas such as research and development for growing pulses and value-adding, with consumer benefits.
“We also welcome Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s comments that the Australian Government will continue to work on improving market access for Australian chickpeas to India and that it’s a conversation the government will continue to persevere with."
“Whilst we understand chickpeas present some political sensitivities in these negotiations, and may be seen as a stumbling block in seeking enhanced market access for all of Australian agriculture, we remain optimistic that these barriers can be resolved," Mr Large said.
Outcomes for the Australian grains industry in IA-ECTA
Tariffs on oats and barley bound at 0% (meaning India won’t be able to raise tariffs on these Australian exports in the future)
India 50% tariff cut on Australian lentils if the tariff is raised above 0%, with quota of 150,000T, providing a competitive advantage over any other exporting country for the first 150,000T exported.
Tariffs on broad beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans and split beans will be phased out over 7 years.
Tariffs on safflower, sesame, linseed, sunflower, palm and poppy oil will be phased out over 7 years.
Tariffs on crude low acid canola, olive and palm oils will be phased out over 7 years.
Improving market access for Australian grain producers is also a core policy priority for GPA, at the 2022 Federal Election. Access GPA’s 2022 Federal Election Campaign Page CLICK HERE.