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Improved market access for Aussie potatoes in Thailand

Australian potato farmers are enjoying improved access to the Thai market with two key commitments now realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). 

Thailand has now implemented zero tariffs and the removal of tariff rate quotas that limited the volume that could access the lower TAFTA tariff rate for Australian seed and processing potatoes. 

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the removal of limits was a boost for potato farmers. 

“This is an important market access improvement for the Australian potato industry,” Minister Littleproud said. “In addition to being exempt from tariffs, Australian farmers can now export seed and processing potatoes at any time of the year. This is a fantastic outcome for our producers and exporters who already have well-established relationships with Thai buyers.

“Last year, Thailand was our second largest potato export market at $4.6 million in 2019 and the removal of remaining constraints is only going to help grow our exports. Our seed potatoes are used by Thai farmers to grow potatoes locally while processing potatoes are used to make products like potato chips.”

Processing potatoes produced in all states are permitted to import into Thailand subject to phytosanitary requirements.

Seed potatoes from South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are currently approved by Thailand’s Department of Agriculture to be exported to Thailand. 

“The Australian Government is committed to working with Thailand to implement our commitments under TAFTA and continue to increase our two-way agricultural trade.”

For more information, visit the Free Trade Agreements web page. 

Fast Facts:

  • Tariffs for Australian seed and processing potatoes have decreased on an annual basis from 27% in 2005 to 0% in 2020 under TAFTA
  • Previously, exports of Australian seed and processing potatoes to Thailand were constrained, with a limited volume (just under 115 tons in 2019) able to access the beneficial TAFTA tariffs. 
  • Thailand was Australia’s second largest potato export market in 2019 ($AUD4.6m) after the Republic of Korea.
  • In 2019, Thailand was Australia’s 11th largest export market for vegetables.
  • Australian vegetable exports to Thailand increased by 64% between 2015 ($AUD10.9m) and 2019 ($AUD17.8m).

Source: Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Original release here
Photo: Australian potato farmer, Renee Pye. AUSVEG

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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