$593k to sweeten sugar exports

A $592,900 Coalition Government grant will help sugar exporters diversify into new, high-growth markets by reducing trade barriers and lowering price-distorting subsidies.

The sugar industry project will provide research and analysis to support international and bilateral trade negotiations and improved access to key existing markets.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud, said the grant would help the sugar industry effect its five-year strategy to increase market access and reduce trade barriers.

“This project will build on past successes in improving trade outcomes, like successful challenges in the WTO and the signing of free trade deals,” Minister Littleproud said.

“With potential gains in the order of $1.2 billion from the freer flow of raw sugar between 2022 and 2040, tapping into this will require the best information and analysis to inform the best approaches to improve our access to high-value markets.

“The project will help maintain our international reputation in key high value markets such as Japan and enable exporters to earn higher premiums from importers seeking high quality cane sugar.”

Representing sugarcane growers, CANEGROWERS CEO, Dan Galligan, said the strategy aimed to diversify raw sugar exports into non-traditional markets, improve hi-pol sugar testing at Japanese ports and align Australia’s verified sustainability credentials with international frameworks.

“We want to secure the sugar industry’s long-term viability which will increase the vibrancy of the regional communities it supports and contribute to Australian agriculture’s ambition of growing to be a $100 billion industry by 2030,” Mr Galligan said.

“”The grant will support the industry’s first ever Trade Policy and Market Access strategy.

“The strategy recognises the importance of collaboration and well-informed industry experts supporting government-to-government negotiations.”

Only the Coalition Government has a plan to continue delivering a strong economy and a stronger future for rural and regional Australia.

Fast facts

  • The Australian sugar industry produces 4.5 to 5 million tonnes of raw sugar each year between Mossman in far north Queensland and Grafton in northern New South Wales.
  • Around 3.5 million tonnes or 80% is exported.
  • 95% of exports go to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with 74% to South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.
  • The majority of 120 sugar-producing countries protect their industries with domestic price-support mechanisms in the form of import tariffs, import licencing arrangements or a combination of them.

/National Party's Public Release. View in full here.