AUSTRALIA’S farmers and exporters are to have improved market access as tariff cuts come into play on a range of commodities, minister for agriculture David Littleproud said.

Mr Littleproud said 2022 will be a year of opportunities for our agricultural, fisheries and forestry exporters.

“Ongoing tariff reductions under free trade agreements negotiated by the Australian government build on the huge benefits they have already delivered for our farmers,” he said.

He said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement with 15 signatories including Australia, entered into force from 1 January 2022.

“Our exporters will be able to tap into regional value chains through rules that will support the use of Aussie inputs into goods produced and exported across the RCEP region,” Mr Littleproud said.

“A series of tariff reductions and other market access improvements also roll out tomorrow under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and other free trade agreements.

“For example, tariffs on barley to Mexico will be eliminated completely, further enhancing our competitiveness. Twenty twenty-one saw Australia’s first shipment of barley to Mexico under the CPTPP valued at more than $69 million – a fantastic achievement”

Mr Littleproud said from 1 January, expanded tariff rate quotas on cheese to Canada and Mexico came into effect.

“Tariff rate quotas under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will increase for live cattle, citrus, and feed grain,” he said.

“And we’ll see the ninth round of tariff cuts under the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement, with tariffs on beef falling to 16 per cent and lamb 2.25 per cent, and quotas for cheese and malt barley all increasing.

“Free-trade agreements will continue to stimulate investment and demand for premium produce as we expand our export trade and recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic. They provide a further boost for our farmers who are propelling the agriculture sector towards anticipated new production records in 2021-22.”

Mr Littleproud said the value of Australian farming exports is predicted to hit a historic high of $61 billion.

“We’re supporting farmers all the way as part of our Ag 2030 plan to help the agriculture sector work towards its $100 billion goal by 2030.”