THE BORDER WATCH | Grain trade gains with India



AUSTRALIAN grain producers have welcomed initial moves to deliver tariff reductions for improved access to markets in India for Australian grain.


Outcomes for the Australian grains industry in the recently announced Interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IA-ECTA) include zero percent tariffs on oats and barley meaning India will not apply tariffs on these Australian commodities.


Other outcomes include tariff cuts for up to 150,000 tonnes of Australian lentils, and the phasing out of tariffs over seven years for a range of crop products including beans (broad, adzuki, kidney and split), oils (safflower, sesame, linseed, sunflower, palm and poppy) and crude low acid canola, olive and palm oils.


Grain Producers Australia chair Barry Large said the Australian Government’s announcement of outcomes from the 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,” Mr Large 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,” he said.


“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 million 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 be challenging to access for agricultural commodities, particularly pulse legumes, which play a major role in South Australian crop rotations.


“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.