Grain trade with China in the spotlight

Minister Joyce

The Federal Government believes the strong cooperation and collaboration between Australia and China across the grains trade will be highlighted with a visit from China’s Administrator of the State Administration of Grain, Mr Ren Zhengxiao. Source: AFDJ eNews

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the visit as an important step that will support further expansion of our grains trade.

“China is among the world’s largest grains producer – with over 550 million tonnes per annum of wheat, corn, rice, barley and sorghum – and also an important player in international grains trade,” Minister Joyce said.

“China is Australia’s largest grains export market, with exports worth $2.8 billion in 2015, especially for wheat, barley and sorghum.

“The Coalition Government successfully renegotiated with China for revised technical access for wheat and barley in 2015 and is now working to support revised technical negotiations on other key grains commodities, so there is huge room for market expansion.

“This visit is further proof of the strong partnership between our nations in grains trade and Administrator Ren’s program will include meetings with Australian grain industry stakeholders and a first-hand look at grains operations in Western Australia.

“Mr Ren’s visit also marks another milestone in our strong agricultural research partnership, the official opening of the Australia-China Joint Centre for Postharvest Grain Biosecurity and Quality Research at Murdoch University.”

Minsiter Joyce said that at a meeting with Mr Ren in China in September 2014 he was proud to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding that led to the creation of the Joint Centre.

“The centre is a partnership between Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, Murdoch University and China’s Academy of State Administration of Grain, and will focus on a common approach to developing non-chemical controls to manage biosecurity and trade risks, while providing clean, residue-free grain,” he said.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, who met with Administrator Ren in Sydney, said China and Australia share a long history of cooperation in agriculture and understand the benefits of working together to promote trade and investment.

“Mr Ren’s visit is an important opportunity to expand our cooperation on grains activities,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“There are mutual benefits in enhancing understanding, trade and investment between Australia and China – especially with the benefits that our landmark China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) delivers for each country’s businesses.”

The ChAFTA eliminated the 3% tariff on barley and the 2% tariff on sorghum, oats, buckwheat, millet and quinoa on 20 December 2015. ChAFTA also eliminates the 10% tariff on malt and wheat gluten by 1 January 2019.