Sugar industry welcomes Indonesian tariff move

Sugar industry welcomes Indonesian tariff move
February 27 2017


27 February 2017: Sugar industry welcomes Indonesian tariff move

The Australian sugar industry has welcomed a tariff agreement between Australia and Indonesia which will put our sugar exports on a par with our regional competitors.

“Indonesia is an important and growing market for our export sugar,” said Paul Schembri, the Chairman of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance Trade Committee. “Reducing the tariff on Australian sugar to 5% will make our product more attractive to Indonesian food manufacturers and refiners.

“We have been at a disadvantage since Thai exporters were granted a 5% tariff in 2015 while our tariff stayed at effectively 8% (Rp 550,000 per tonne).

“Australia provided roughly one-third of all Indonesian sugar imports during 2014 and 2015 but that tariff preference meant Indonesia moved to source almost all of its raw sugar imports from Thailand.

“We lost about $500 million in trade opportunities at current prices.

“With the 5% tariff agreement, we can again compete on our strengths – quality, reliability and year-round availability.”

The sugar tariff announcement came after a face to face meeting between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“We have worked since 2015 to have that tariff disparity between the Australian product and other sugar exporting nations resolved,” Mr Schembri said.

“As an export-dependent industry, with 80% of our annual production heading to overseas customers, we need to be able to compete fairly in all markets.

“We thank the Australian government for pursuing this on our industry’s behalf and carrying it through to a successful outcome.

“While the implementation issues are yet to be finalised, growers and millers across Australia’s sugar growing regions can find comfort in the fact that this important market will be restored.”