Australia negotiators are seeking an Australia-only duty free quota for wool and elimination of the beef and sheep-meat tariffs with China as quickly as possible, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said today.
A DFAT spokesperson told Sheep Central that negotiations with China on a Free Trade Agreement were in an intense stage.
“There are difficult issues for both sides, but both Australia and China have committed to work to conclude the negotiations this year.
“As key agriculture exports, sheep-meat, beef and wool are priorities of the negotiations,” the spokesperson said.
The DFAT spokesperson said sheepmeat imports, with trade from Australia to China worth $385 million in 2013, faces tariffs of between 12 to 23 percent.
“Our most heavily traded line, frozen unboned sheep-meat faces a tariff of 12 pc.
“Australian beef trade to China was worth $750 million in 2013.”
DFAT said Australian beef faces tariffs of between 10pc for offal and 25pc for carcasses, with our most traded products facing a tariff of 12 per cent.
China is by far Australia’s largest market for wool with trade of over $1.9 billion in 2013.
“China has a WTO quota for wool, under which wool enters at a tariff of 1 per cent.
“Wool is an important input into Chinese industry so traditionally, if wool is imported in volumes exceeding the quota, China has not imposed the full tariff it is entitled to under WTO rules of 38 per cent,” the DFAT spokesperson said.
“Australia is seeking an Australia-only duty free quota for wool and elimination of the beef and sheep-meat tariffs as quickly as possible.”