April 5, 2022

On Monday the signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) ushered in a new era of lower friction exportation of Australian sheep meat.

Australia MLA

The signing by Australia’s trade minister Dan Tehan and India’s minister for commerce and industry Priyush Goyal eliminates the current 30% import tariff levied on Australian sheep meat.

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. “This focus will undoubtedly continue, with Australian sheep meat helping to meet demand in India for high-end retail segments,” said Roger Fletcher, Australian Meat Industry Council board director.

Boon for Australian sheep farmers

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

Sheep in Australia
Indian import tariffs of 30% on Australian sheep meat are being eliminated.

By eliminating sheep meat tariffs, the agreement binds the tariff on raw skins and hides at zero and eliminates a 10% tariff on processed skins/hides.

Bonnie Skinner, the CEO of Sheep Producers Australia, said: “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.”

The Australian red meat sector is now working with both governments not only to bring the deal officially into force, but also seeking additional benefits via completion of a more comprehensive agreement which is currently under negotiation.

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