AUSSIE potato farmers are reported to be enjoying improved access to the Thai market with two key commitments now realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Thailand has implemented zero tariffs and the removal of tariff rate quotas that limited the volume that could access the lower TAFTA tariff rate for Australian seed and processing potatoes.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud said the removal of limits was a boost for potato farmers.

“This is an important market access improvement for the Australian potato industry,” Mr Littleproud said.

“In addition to being exempt from tariffs, Australian farmers can now export seed and processing potatoes at any time of the year.

“This is a fantastic outcome.”

Mr Littleproud said Thailand was last year Australia’s second largest potato export market at $4.6m.

“Our seed potatoes are used by Thai farmers to grow potatoes locally while processing potatoes are used to make products like potato chips,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT  

Processing potatoes produced in all states are permitted to import into Thailand subject to phytosanitary requirements.

Seed potatoes from South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are currently approved by Thailand’s Department of Agriculture to be exported to Thailand.

Get some Thai perspectives on Australian produce. Credit: Austrade

“The Australian Government is committed to working with Thailand to implement our commitments under TAFTA and continue to increase our two-way agricultural trade,” Mr Littleproud said.

  • Tariffs for Australian seed and processing potatoes have decreased annually from 27% in 2005 to 0% in 2020 under TAFTA
  • Previously, exports of Australian seed and processing potatoes to Thailand were constrained, with a limited volume (just under 115 tons in 2019) able to access the beneficial TAFTA tariffs.
  • Thailand was Australia’s second largest potato export market in 2019 ($AUD4.6m) after the Republic of Korea.
  • In 2019, Thailand was Australia’s 11th largest export market for vegetables.

Source: Office of David Littleproud

ADVERTISEMENT