North Queensland’s cane growers have welcomed the signing of an Australia-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement, with sugar tariffs to be cut under the deal.
The agreement will see tariffs on Australian sugar cut from a maximum 12 per cent to 5 per cent, providing a welcome boost for the embattled industry.
Herbert River Canegrowers chairman Michael Pisano said 100 per cent of sugar grown in that district was exported, with 80 per cent of all Australian sugar going to the export market.
“Eighty per cent of the industry is for the export market so any of these announcements are good news,” Mr Pisano said.
Korea is a big market for us, and Indonesia would be as well, and there is that potential for growth. The benefit of these sorts of things is that it sends the right signals to other countries as well.
Mr Pisano said the news was welcome for growers who were set to endure a tough season with heavy rain leaving cane waterlogged across many northern growing districts.
Preferential deals will be put in place or duty will be removed for more than 99 per cent of exports to Indonesia. Since coming to government, the Coalition has delivered six major free trade agreements.
“These are key to realising our ambition of a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030. It will help boost farm gate prices, driving regional growth and jobs.”
• Indonesia is our 4th largest agricultural export market, worth $3.35 billion in 2017
• In 2017, Australia’s top exports to Indonesia were wheat ($1.3b), live cattle ($602m), sugar ($328m) and beef and veal ($284m)
• Agriculture, fisheries and forestry totalled $54 billion in export earnings in 2017-18
• Australia imported $833 million of agricultural commodities from Indonesia in 2017
• Indonesia is on track be the world’s 5th largest economy by 2030