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What Korean FTA Means for Australian Sheep Meat Industry

14 May 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The announcement of Australia’s FTA with Korea was readily welcomed by Australia’s agricultural sector, particularly the beef industry – seen as the ‘big winner’ in the agreement.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia, the FTA will secure Australia’s competitive position in this major market, and enable Australian beef producers to further benefit from Korean consumers’ growing taste for Australian beef, with the removal of the 40% tariff over 15 years.

But what does the FTA mean for the Australian sheep meat industry?

The agreement will phase out the 22.5 per cent tariff currently incurred on Australian sheep meat exports over a 10 year period, and while the current volumes being shipped to Korea may seem comparatively small, the market is showing potential for growth in consumption and has developed into an important part of the Australian sheep meat industry’s diverse range of global markets.

Australia is now exporting more lamb to Korea than it ever has before – with record shipments in April, totalling 488 tonnes cwt, more than double what was shipped the same time last year.

As a result, Australian lamb exports have surged 90 per cent in the January-to-April volume (1,567 tonnes cwt) compared to the corresponding period last year (825 tonnes cwt). Mutton exports to Korea, over the same year-to-date period, have increased 34 per cent year-on-year, from 330 tonnes cwt in 2013, to 443 tonnes cwt in 2014.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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