RED meat industry bodies have welcomed the news that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will enter into force on 20 December, as revealed in this article on Beef Central yesterday.
The process will see the first tariff cuts delivered across all red meat and livestock tariff lines – with the second tariff cuts due on 1 January 2016 (see table below).
“The quick succession of initial tariff cuts will greatly improve the competitiveness of Australian product – particularly as sheepmeat products from New Zealand will be duty free from 1 January 2016, and other beef suppliers have recently secured improved access,” chairman of the Australian red meat ChAFTA taskforce David Larkin said.
The current tariffs imposed on Australian beef, sheepmeat and co-products exported to China represent an annual tax on the supply chain of more than $800 million.
The gradual removal of the cost burden will positively impact the profitability of Australian cattle and sheep producers, processors and exporters, as well as alleviate the inflated prices paid for Australian red meat and associated products by Chinese customers and consumers.
Once fully implemented, ChAFTA has the potential to boost the gross value of beef production by $270 million annually by 2024, economic analysis suggests. Out to 2030, the total benefits for beef will approach $3.3 billion.
For the sheepmeat sector, the potential benefits are more than $150 million each year by 2024 – with the value over the next 16 years being in excess of $1.8 billion.
As China is also a destination for nearly 90pc of Australia’s sheepskin exports and 80pc of cattle hides, elimination of these tariffs, as well as those on offal, will add $436 million a year by 2024 across both beef and sheepmeat – and out to 2030, these benefits could total $6 billion.
Mr Larkin thanked the Minister for Trade and Investment, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials in Canberra and the Australian Embassy in Beijing for their combined efforts in achieving EIF of the ChAFTA prior to the end of 2015.
“The benefits flowing from ChAFTA will add significant value to the Australian red meat and livestock industry and complement the gains derived from the other FTAs Australia has concluded to date,” Mr Larkin said.
Source: Joint statement from CCA, SCA, ALEC, RMAC, AMIC, ALFA.