Agricultural Trade Matters, April 2016

​Agricultural Trade Matters


​​​​​​​Agricultural trade matters provides an overview of what the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Government are doing to support international agricultural trade.

This is the most recent edition, published April 2016.

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Australian exports to Japan enjoy third round of tariff cuts under FTA

A container ship of Australian exports.

From 1 April 2016, Australian agricultural and food exporters are set to have their market access gains to Japan further amplified, with the third round of tariff cuts and Australia specific quota incr​eases under the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). The latest round of tariff cuts and quota volume increases provides more benefits and opportunities to exporters of a range of agricultural commodities, including beef, dairy products, wine, seafood, nuts and horticulture products.

Exports have increased across a range of sectors including beef, dairy, horticulture and seafood.

  • Beef: exports of beef increased by 15 per cent to $1.9 billion in 2015, compared to $1.6 billion in 2014, with beef tariffs of 38.5 per cent significantly reduced to 30.5 per cent for chilled beef and 27.5 per cent for frozen beef. This is on the back of increased exports of higher value cuts and chilled grainfed beef.
  • Dairy: Australia’ exports of fresh cheese have increased over 33 per cent to $256.5 million in 2015—up from $192.4 million in 2014. The pre-JAEPA tariff of 29.8 per cent on fresh cheese used for further processing was eliminated within an Australia-specific quota of 4,000 tonnes on JAEPA’s entry-into-force.

Read more about the latest round of cuts thanks to JAEPA…

  • Oranges: the value of orange exports has increased by 11 per cent in 2015 to $30.5 million, up from $27.5 million in 2014. The seasonal tariff on oranges was 16 per cent prior to JAEPA, and with the third tariff cut has now reduced to 11.6 per cent.
  • Table grapes: exports of table grapes have grown from a zero base to be worth over $6.5 million in the 2015 season, thanks to negotiation of an import protocol in 2014, and also the tariff cut from 7.8 per cent prior to JAEPA to 5.9 per cent last year. Exports in the current season have already well exceeded 2015.
  • Prawns: Australian exports of prawns to Japan increased by 63 per cent in value (40 per cent in volume) in 2015, from $16 million in 2014 to over $26 million. Pre‑JAEPA tariffs of up to 4.8 per cent on shrimps and prawns were eliminated on entry‑into-force.

For further information see the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce’s press release.


Funding available for enhancing cooperation with our trading partners

Farmers inspecting a crop.

Applications are open for the new $3.1 million Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation programme (ATMAC).

ATMAC will fund a small number of projects between $55 000 to $1.65 million (GST incl.). In 2015-16, priority will be given to projects that help realise market access opportunities for Australian exporters under recently ratified free trade agreements, and contribute to the negotiation of protocols for new and improved market access.

ATMAC’s objective is to open, improve and/or maintain access to overseas markets for Australian agricultural products by building stronger relationships with trading partners, neighbouring countries and international organisations.

Activities that may be eligible for funding include research and development projects, training programmes, delegation visits, and attendance at conferences or workshops. Anyone with an ABN is able to apply, including industry bodies and associations, education and research institutions, government agencies, consultants, companies and individuals.

Read more about the programme…


Applications will be accepted until 31 December 2018 while funding is available.

For further information or to apply, visit the programme web page.

ATMAC is part of the Agricultural Competiveness White Paper’s initiative on accessing premium agricultural markets.


Australian dairy genetics pass muster for export to India

An Australian dairy calf.

Australian dairy genetics could soon be helping to improve the productivity of the Indian dairy industry thanks to agreement between Australia and India on health requirements. The agreement covers the export of frozen bovine semen and in-vivo fertilised bovine embryos. This will support improved productivity and food security in India while creating new opportunities for Australian exports.

In the two years to September 2015, more than 860 000 doses of cattle semen and 5000 cattle embryos were exported from Australia to 42 countries. The agreement sees India join our most valued export markets for bovine semen and embryos, including the USA, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, China, Uruguay, South Africa and Japan. It also builds on work by the department in streamlining genetic exports.

To find out about the health requirements to export genetic material, visit the department’s Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR)

Find out about other market access achievements.

New market access hatched for Australian poultry products

A poultry breeder.

A range of poultry products can now be exported to Thailand and Indonesia, after new health agreements were negotiated between the Australian Government and two key South-East Asian trading partners. The agreements allow for hatching eggs and live day-old chickens to Thailand, and live day-old chickens to Indonesia.

Trade in breeding poultry helps support genetic improvements in overseas flocks, gives more choice to Australian exporters and offers new opportunities to grow their business. In 2014, trade of breeding poultry was worth more than $1 million, with Australia sending fertilised eggs and live fowls to countries including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

To find out about the requirements to export breeding poultry under these agreements, visit the department’s Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR).

Find out about other market access achievements.

Australian nuts have cracked open the Japanese market

Australian walnuts.

Walnuts Australia has successfully sent its first direct consignment of walnut kernels to Japan. This is thanks to a new walnut cracking facility in Leeton and Walnuts Australia working with Japan’s AEON supermarket chain. Tariffs on Australia’s walnut exports to Japan were reduced upon entry into force of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) on 15 January 2015, with further reductions due on 1 April 2016 to 5 per cent.  This provides even more of a competitive price advantage for Australian walnut exporters to Japan. Preliminary export volumes show approximately 12.6 tonnes to Japan for the 2015-16 year to date.

Almond exports to Japan are also growing. Exports grew enormously by over 1 400 per cent on the back of the tariff elimination of 2.4 per cent under JAEPA upon entry into force from approximately $356 000 in 2014 to be worth over $5.4 million in 2015. Preliminary export volumes show that for the 2015-16 financial year to date, approximately 18.7 tonnes of almonds have been exported from Australia to Japan.

Read more about nut exports to Japan…

Macadamia exports to Japan have also increased from 2014 to 2015 on the back of tariff elimination of 5 per cent under JAEPA upon entry into force.  The export value has grown by 28 per cent from $18.6 million in 2014 to $23.7 million in 2015.

Heard it through the grape vine: a reduction on tariff lines

Australian grapes being harvested.

The Australian Table Grape Association reported the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) has helped the trade, along with continued promotional activities including in-store promotions to build awareness. The reduction in table grape tariffs for our export season from 7.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent on 1 April 2015 under JAEPA and the successful negotiation of an import protocol in 2014, has resulted in over $6.5 million worth of table grape exports to Japan in the 2015 season from an almost zero base in 2014.

Thanks to soaring demand in Japan, prices have risen for Australian table grapes in Japan, despite lower production levels. This is providing positive returns for latest table grape season to date, with over 120 containers exported since this year’s season began on 18 February, compared to last season of 165 containers exported in total.  This year the industry is expecting 300 or more containers to be exported.

Read more about table grape exports to Japan…

Benefits are set to continue with a third tariff cut to 4.9 per cent on 1 April 2016.

Read more about the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.


Australian cherry exports are picking up in China and the Republic of Korea

Australian cherries.

Cherry Growers Australia has reported strong growth in cherry exports to the Republic of Korea and China over the last two seasons linked to the new free trade agreements. Cherry exports to Korea have gone from just 5 tonnes in 2013-14 to 344 tonnes in 2015-16 season, following the tariff elimination under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) from 24 per cent to zero on entry into force.  Cherry exports to China have also increased from 330 tonnes in 2014-2015 to over 800 tonnes in 2015-2016 thanks to a tariff reduction under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) from 10 to 6 per cent.

The next reduction under ChAFTA will occur on 1 January 2017, reducing to 4 per cent and finally to zero on 1 January 2019.

Find out more about tariff reductions in Australia’s recent FTAs across multiple products through the Australian Government’s FTA portal.

Fruitful funding for flexible arrangements for horticulture exporters

An inspector checking apples.

Horticultural exporters can save time and money and enjoy increased flexibility thanks to funding to increase the numbers of industry-based Plant Export Authorised Officers (AOs). AOs can provide exporters with more flexible inspection options and can undertake inspections for select overseas markets with agreed protocols, without the exporter needing to schedule an inspection by one of the department’s AO. The department carries out the training and assessment, and conducts separate audit process to ensure the reliability and accountability of industry AOs.

For this season, Australia’s cherry exporters to North Asian markets used more industry AO inspections than departmental AOs, contributing to reduced costs. For the 2015-2016 season to date, just over 63 per cent of all consignments exported to China (almost 510 tonnes) were inspected by an industry AO; as was approximately 71 per cent of the consignments exported to the Republic of Korea (approximately 368 tonnes)  and nearly 90 per cent of the consignments sent to Japan (albeit with smaller volumes).

Read more about increasing Plant Export Authorised Officers (AOs)…

The department’s recent work in negotiating acceptance of protocol AOs by key trading partners has enhanced the opportunities for exports to these markets and, through training up to 400 additional industry-employed AOs, exporting horticultural produce has can become more efficient, while still maintaining high biosecurity standards to meet importing country requirements.

Increasing the number of AOs is just one way to ensure the horticulture industry — with exports worth an estimated $2.06 billion in 2014-15 — makes the most of the free trade agreements secured by the Australian Government.

Funding for the increased AOs to support the horticulture industry has been made available thanks to the Package Assisting Small Exporters (PASE).

Find out more about authorised officers.

Find out more about the Package Assisting Small Exporters.


A busy week ahead in April promoting Australia in China

Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, shakes hands with Chinese Minister for Agriculture, Han Chanfu.

Australia Week in China (AWIC) in April 2016 is shaping up to be Australia’s biggest trade delegation to ever visit China, with a focus for agriculture on food & beverages, agribusiness and e-commerce. The department is looking forward to supporting Australia’s agricultural market opportunities with Austrade and Australian exporters at a number of AWIC events. This will be immediately followed by a meeting on the Australian China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) and the Secretary Liaison Meeting with the ministries of agriculture to finalise cooperation projects and discuss future priorities.

AWIC will be held in various locations in China from 11 to 15 April 2016 and is shaping up to be Australia’s biggest trade delegation to ever visit China with over 350 stakeholders from the agriculture and food sectors registered.   The week will bring plenty of opportunities for Australian industry to experience the modern reality of food production and distribution in China, agribusiness and e-commerce.

The program features trade and investment seminars, roundtables, site visits, product showcases and opportunities for networking with Chinese industry and government. Eight sector-specific programs will be held in cities including Hong Kong, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou before all delegates come together in Shanghai.

Read more about promoting Australian produce in China…

The department will be engaged with industry in the two agriculture streams, the first being the Premium Food & Beverages and Consumers stream to be held from 11 to 15 April in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shanghai and the second being the Agribusiness stream in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai held from 11 to 15 April.

Read more about Australia Week in China (AWIC).

Read more about the Australian China Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) and China-Australia Joint Framework on Agricultural Cooperation

Trade and Promotional Events


Austrade coordinates events and exhibitions, like AWIC, around the world, to support the promotion of Australian food and agriculture. Find out about events in your export markets through Austrade's event search.


ABARES Outlook 2016

Don't worry if you missed out on Outlook 2016. You can find out about the latest economic analysis of agricultural trade by viewing the presentations on the Outlook website.

YouTube videos will be available soon



MICoR – Manual of Importing Country Requirements


MICoR allows you to find out about, and keep up to date on, the importing requirement of your key export markets.


FTA Portal


The Australian Government FTA Portal provides a comprehensive tariff finder, with information on rules of origin and market snapshots for your searched products.


ePing – Electronic Export Alert


ePing allows you to register for notifications on changes of your export markets' sanitary and phytosanity (SPS e.g. biosecurity and food safety) or technical barriers to trade (TBTs e.g. labelling) measures. If you have conerns about another country's measure let Australia's contact point know.  


BICON – Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions database


BICON helps to determine if conditions exist for your imports and if a permit is required. The database houses information for more than 20,000 plants, animals, minerals and biological products. 


Information Sessions

How FTAs could benefit you


The department is continuing to help producers make the most of the new North Asian FTAs through seminars, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade. Read more on Austrade’s website.


Australia’s biosecurity legislation

The department is holding information sessions to explain how the new Biosecurity Act may affect you and your industry from its commencement. Read more on the department's w​ebsite.

Last reviewed: 1 October 2020
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