FTA takes Australian sugar to the top


IN THE three years since Australia signed a free trade agreement with Korea, the central Asian nation has become the biggest market for exported sugar.

Member for Dawson George Christensen celebrated the agreement's third birthday last week, and said exports continue to grow under the agreement.

"I'm pleased that sugar producers have continued to reap benefits under KAFTA,” Mr Christensen said.

"The landmark agreement which completely eliminated a three per cent tariff on sugar has strengthened our trade and investment relationship with the Republic of Korea and put our sugar industry in pole position to capitalise on a growing market that wants Australian sugar,” Mr Christensen said.

In the first three quarters of 2017 Korean imports of sugar grew by 22% to $780.1 million.

"The elimination of a sugar tariff means our sugar exporters have an advantage over their international competitors. 

"The Republic of Korea is our third-largest goods export market and fourth-largest trading partner, and the more they're exporting from North Queensland, the more local jobs there will be.”

Queensland Sugar Limited marketing director Mark Hampson said Korea was now Australia's largest market for its sugar.

He said Thailand and Australia had a recent tariff reduction.

"Thailand is probably our biggest competitor,” Mr Hampson said.

"Brazil (the world's largest sugar producer) has some import tariffs.”

He said FTAs were "hugely significant” for Australia's sugar industry.

"Of the 4 million tonnes of sugar produced nationally, 85% of that is exported,” Mr Hampson said.

"We're the only sugar producer in the world where the cane price growers receives isn't subsidised.

"In a place like China growers are getting $90 a tonne, in Australia its $35-40 a tonne.”


Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult