AUSTRALIA’S $17 million sheep meat trade with Indonesia is expected to increase with the finalisation of Indonesia-Australian Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations last week.
The agreement will eliminate the 5 percent tariffs for boxed sheep meat over the next five years, while import permit restrictions will be removed.
In 2017-18, Australia imported boxed lamb valued at $11,653,378 and boxed mutton worth $5,511,126 into Indonesia.
In 2017, 1099 tonnes of lamb and 1359 tonnes of mutton was exported to Indonesia, and up to July this year, 746kg of lamb and 459kg of mutton from Australia was imported into the country.
Sheep Producers Australia’s economics, trade and industry affairs manager Stephen Crisp said Indonesia is currently a small market for Australia, but has potential for growth, given its proximity and the increasing demand from consumers in south-east Asia for sources of animal protein.
“We’re pleased with the market access that has been negotiated and we thank the Australian Government, through the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, for opening up further opportunities for the sheep industry.
“This agreement will create opportunities over time for producers, particularly in mutton supply,” Mr Crisp said.
“Any reduction in tariffs makes it easier to develop markets and Australian export production already has a track record in providing high quality product to Halal markets.
“Australia supplied 1099 tonnes of lamb and 1359 tonnes of mutton to Indonesia in 2017 and we believe this can increase,” he said.
Mr Crisp said securing markets is a priority advocacy area for SPA because, while its produce is consumed locally, the body has an export focus and building market access supports sheep producers’ profitability.
“Policy in this space is developed through our Marketing, Market Access and Trade Policy Committee.
“SPA works with the Australian government, Meat & Livestock Australia and local and overseas organisations to build domestic and international markets for Australian lamb and sheep meat products through producer levy-funded marketing campaigns and providing industry advice for international trade negotiations,” he said.