Agribusiness & Food

China grain boss in town

Ian Ackerman –

China’s grains boss Ren Zhengxiao was recently in Australia, working to boost co-operation and consolidate relationships between the two countries, particularly in the grains trade.

China is Australia’s largest market for grain exports, and Ren is China’s Administrator of the State Administration of Grain.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce welcomed the visit as an important step that would support further expansion of grains trade, consolidating an already fruitful relationship.

“China is among the world’s largest grains producer—with over 550 million tonnes per annum of wheat, corn, rice, barley and sorghum—and also an important player in international grains trade,” he said.

“China is Australia’s largest grains export market, with exports worth $2.8 billion in 2015, especially for wheat, barley and sorghum.

“The Coalition Government successfully renegotiated with China for revised technical access for wheat and barley in 2015 and is now working to support revised technical negotiations on other key grains commodities, so there is huge room for market expansion.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, who met with Administrator Ren in Sydney, said China and Australia share a long history of cooperation in agriculture and understand the benefits of working together to promote trade and investment.

“Mr Ren’s visit is an important opportunity to expand our cooperation on grains activities,” he said.

“There are mutual benefits in enhancing understanding, trade and investment between Australia and China –especially with the benefits that our landmark China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) delivers for each country’s businesses.”

ChAFTA eliminated the 3% tariff on barley and the 2% tariff on sorghum, oats, buckwheat, millet and quinoa on December 20 2015. The agreement will also eliminate the 10% tariff on malt and wheat gluten by January 1 2019.

This article originally appeared on ABHR affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.

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