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India deal improves high-end sheep meat access

Sheep Central, June 29, 2022

Sheep meat exporter Roger Fletcher

AUSTRALIAN sheep meat exporters will get greater access to India’s five-star catering and high-end retail segments under the new Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA).

In May, the Australian sheep meat industry welcomed the signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) by former Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan and Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Priyush Goyal.

The agreement eliminates the current 30 percent import tariff levied on Australian sheep meat on entry into force.

Australia has only exported 111 tonnes of sheep meat to India over the past five years, with premium cuts making up the majority of this trade.

Australian Meat Industry Council director and Fletcher International Exports principal Roger Fletcher told Meat & Livestock Australia the premium cuts focus into India will undoubtedly continue, with Australian sheep meat helping meet the ongoing import demand in India for quality product servicing 5-star catering and high-end retail segments.

“The agreement fits well with Australia’s diversified portfolio of export markets, whereby our industry carefully matches specific cuts with market segments and cuisines,” he said.

“The removal of the tariff will go a long way to providing more certainty for this trade – especially as the majority of other global sheep meat customers are paying significantly less duty when importing Australian lamb and mutton.”

In addition to eliminating sheep meat tariffs, the agreement binds the tariff on raw skins and hides at zero and eliminates the 10pc tariff on processed skins / hides.

Sheep Producers Australia chief executive officer Bonnie Skinner said for Australian producers and exporters, the agreement will enable our industry to be better placed to help supply some of the demand in India for high quality sheep meat.

“The Australian lamb industry has a long history of producing safe, quality lamb for customers around the world. Securing this agreement signals a new chapter in our bilateral relations and an opportunity for us to work collaboratively for years to come.”

AI-ECTA reflects the commitment by Australia and India to pursuing trade reform. The Australian red meat sector now looks forward to working with both Governments on not only securing timely entry into force of the deal – but, importantly, seeking additional benefits via completion of the envisaged comprehensive agreement which is currently under negotiation.

MLA said the industry would like to acknowledge and thank former Trade Minister Dan Tehan, Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Priyush Goyal and their respective negotiating teams for their tireless work in achieving this outcome.

Read MLA’s latest global market update for India here.  

Source: MLA.

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