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Almond Byte, April 2022: Australia/India deal, Logistics Update, EU Pauses Sustainable Strategy
Episode 130th April 2022 • Almond Journey • Almond Journey
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Australia and India ink new Trade Agreement

It has been in the works for a long time, but it appears

Australia and India have finally concluded their Economic Cooperation and Trade

Agreement (IndAusECTA) on April 2, 2022. The agreement provides for competitive

tariff elimination or reduction on a wide range of goods including Australian

almonds. The aim is to enhance bilateral trade to $54 billion in the next five

years which is currently at $27.5 billion. As soon as the Agreement is ratified

by both parliaments, India has agreed to create a combined annual tariff rate

quota up to 34,000 MTs for shelled and inshell Australian almonds.

From the information available, it appears importers will be

required to obtain import licenses to utilize the TRQ. The in-quota rate will

be 50% of the current MFN rate which would equate to 17.5 rps/kg for inshell

and 50 rps/kg for shelled almonds. Meantime, the U.S. duties, given retaliatory

tariffs, remain at 41 rps/kg for inshell, and 120 rps/kg for kernels. This is

only the second agreement that India has signed in the last 10 years. The last

agreement India signed was with Japan in 2011 followed by the UAE and now

Australia in 2022.

The deal with India removes tariffs on more than 85% of

Australian goods exported to India, worth US$9.4 billion, rising to almost 91%

over 10 years. Tariffs will be eliminated on sheep meat, wool, copper, coal,

alumina, fresh Australian rock lobster, and some critical minerals and

non-ferrous metals to India. It will see 96 percent of Indian goods imports

enter Australia duty-free. Australia is currently negotiating nine FTAs

including bilateral agreements with three of its largest trading partners,

China, Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile, the United States is waiting to engage

in talks related to the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

Transportation-Logistics Update

The Senate unanimously approved the Ocean Shipping Reform

Act in a vote last week. The bill’s support comes at a time of peak

congressional concern over the resiliency of American supply chains, which has

become an even more critical issue in light of the Ukraine/Russia conflict. The

bill, which aims to ease maritime supply chain issues, “is designed to support

the growth and development of U.S. exports and promote reciprocal trade in the

common carriage of goods by water in the foreign commerce of the United

States.”

The bill now goes into a process to work out the differences

between the House and Senate versions. Once the differences are worked out, the

bill will need to pass both chambers a second time. Have logistics updates you

want to share? Please contact: bdensel@almondboard.com

The EU hits “Pause” on its Sustainable Food Strategy

The war in Ukrane has “pressed the pause button” on the

EU’s flagship food policy, the Farm to Fork strategy, but the long-term

ambition for the sector remains unchanged, according to the EU Health Commissioner

Stella Kyriakides.

Between skyrocketing food prices and shortages of key inputs

such as fuel and fertilizer, the war has sent the EU agri-food sector reeling.

“We’re working hard to address global food security and for food affordability

in the EU, including finding alternative feed sources for the short term,” said

EU Health Commissioner Kyriakide. EU Commission and European industry have been

meeting frequently to identify those temporary measures and policy implications

brought about by the war and disruption to food supply systems. Several

short-to-medium term measures are being considered to minimize disruption,

which includes allowing farmers to plant crops on marginal/set-aside lands,

packaging label changes, etc.

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