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Main trade partners (2016)

Main trade partners (2016)

Main trade partners (2016)

Improved market access by means of reduced import tariffs and extended tariff quotas for prioritised Australian exports, such as beef, dairy, lamb and wine, are expected to be an important focus for the negotiations. For instance, Australia currently has shared access to a yearly global 48 200-tonne grain-fed beef quota with a 0 % tariff rate and a yearly country-specific 7 150-tonne high-quality beef quota subject to a 20 % tariff rate. Australia’s average fill rate of the high-quality beef quota has been more than 90 %, and it accounted for around a third of all EU imports under the grain-fed quota in 2016. Australia also benefits from a yearly country-specific 19 186-tonne sheep- and goatmeat quota with a 0 % tariff rate, almost filled since 2013. (By comparison, New Zealand’s country-specific sheep- and goatmeat quota is 228 254 tonnes per year). The EU represents a high-value market for both beef and sheep meat exports that could create a strong incentive for the Australian party to negotiate improved access to the EU markets. Most Australian dairy exports are faced with quotas and high in-quota tariffs (Australia benefits from two country-specific tariff-rate quotas totalling 4 211 tonnes for cheese), and, as one study points out, dairy products are the most exposed to non-tariff measures, such as environmental standards and GIs. The liberalisation of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) could also be relevant for the broader spectrum of agricultural trade. For instance, in the case of canola used in the production of biodiesel, the European certification schemes for sustainable production include certain criteria for Australian producers that could be negotiated.

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