Free Trade Deal Takes Crack at Australian Macadamia’s Tough Nut Industry

Between a season of dreadful weather and an onslaught of ravenous feral pigs, Australia’s macadamia growers are left feeling a bit… nutty. However, a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea brings new potential to a tough nut industry.

ABC Rural reports that South Korea represents one of the two priority markets for Australia’s macadamia nuts – the other being Taiwan – but a 30 percent tariff has been a roadblock with which the industry often collides. The FTA will reduce the current 30 percent tariff to zero for Australian imports into South Korea.

“Now with this reduction in the tariff over the next five years, we’re confident that the market will grow,” states Jolyon Burnett, chief executive officer of The Australian Macadamia Society. “The USA achieved a reduction to zero in their tariff over seven years, two years ago,” he said. “So the fact that our tariff will reduce to zero over five years brings us back into competitive alignment with US imports into Korea.”

Australia’s market is expected to grow 100 percent over the length of the tariff reduction, if the country has the crops to sustain it. Gympie Times states that meeting demand will be the next problem in the market which has grown 240 percent in the past five years. With hostile weather alternating between dry spells and rot-inducing downpours, and feral pigs feasting on the fallen nuts, Australia’s success will not be easy.

For more on Australia’s FTA with South Korea, click here.

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