A NEW report showing how Australia is tracking within key global sheep meat and beef safeguards and quotas has been released by Meat & Livestock Australia.
MLA said trade is increasingly central to the viability of the Australian red meat industry, and pursuing unrestrained access to global markets remains critical.
Australia’s access to markets has generally improved over the last three decades, led initially by multilateral negotiations through the World Trade Organization, and more recently, through a series of bilateral Free Trade Agreements.
But despite this reform, MLA said an array of red meat tariffs, safeguards and quotas remain in place; some with alleviation action underway (tariffs decreasing, safeguards temporary or expanding), some fixed. In addition, there is a plethora of technical barriers to trade limiting Australia’s ability to export.
MLA said in recent years, Australia has been a high user of EU beef and sheep meat quotas and Japanese beef and beef offal safeguards. Critically, Australia has hit the expanding Korean beef safeguard limit for the last four years and is on track to do so again in 2018. Moreover, during peak herd liquidation in 2015, Australia maxed out the US and Canadian beef quotas, MLA said.
MLA said once a safeguard or quota is fully utilised, temporary (often trade prohibitive) tariffs are applied, rendering the market less attractive for trade. The timing of when these safeguards or quotas are triggered can have ramifications in Australian cattle and sheep markets and, hence, are important to monitor.
Ongoing updates of the report can be found here.