A sweet deal for Australian sugar producers

  • Joint media release with:
  • Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Australia's tariff-free raw sugar exports to the United Kingdom (UK) have resumed for the first time in 50 years.

Australia's first shipment of raw sugar under the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement has arrived in London overnight, heralding the reopening of a valuable market for the Queensland sugar industry.

The shipment of Queensland sugar set sail from the Townsville wharf in July.

The gold-standard trade 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 Australia's trade agreement with the UK, tariffs as high as $620/£350 per tonne (approximately 64 percent) applied to Australian sugar.

The trade agreement provides Australian agricultural exporters access to the UK market not experienced since the UK joined the European Economic Community (as it then was) on 1 January 1973.

The UK sugar processing sector and British food producers and consumers will also benefit from an increased supply of high-quality sustainably produced Australian raw cane sugar at competitive prices.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell:

“This first shipment of tariff-free sugar is proof that our trade agreements deliver real, practical benefits for Australian farmers and producers.”

“In addition to helping our sugar producers, the trade agreement also creates new opportunities for a range of other business sectors, including young and skilled workers, professionals and innovators who will benefit from better visa options.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt:

““This is a huge achievement and a great win for Australian agriculture and our farmers, especially in Queensland.”

“The increased market access offered by the trade agreement will bring the agriculture industry closer to its goal of $100 billion in production by 2030.”

“It's fantastic to see Queenslanders already benefiting from the tariff-free sales as the first traders with the UK under the new agreement.”

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: 02 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555