Sweet deal for sugar exporters as UK drops tariffs

Tariff-free raw sugar exports from Australia to the UK have resumed for the first time in 50 years.

The shipment of Queensland sugar under the Australia-UK free trade agreement arrived in London overnight.

The agreement delivers tariff-free access to the UK market for Australian raw sugar through an expanding tariff-free quota that increases from 80,000 tonnes in the first year to 220,000 tonnes by October 2030, at which point all tariffs will be eliminated.

Prior to the agreement, tariffs as high as 64 per cent applied to Australian sugar.

Trade Minister Don Farrell said it was proof of the practical benefits of trade agreements.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said it brought the sector closer to its goal of $100 billion in production by 2030.

Australia was a world leader in the production of sustainable sugar, Canegrowers chair Owen Menkens said.

"Through accreditation in the industry-led Smartcane BMP program, growers are demonstrating their sustainability to international markets and businesses, such as Tate and Lyle Sugars, who are increasingly seeking out sustainable supply chains," he said.

“Sugarcane growers across Queensland should be proud of their efforts in supporting the re-opening of this valuable market for the Australian industry.”

Tate & Lyle Sugars senior vice president Gerald Mason said the company looked forward to working with Australian sugarcane farmers, millers and marketers.

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