The International Trade Council welcomes the significant milestone of the first shipment of raw sugar from Australia to the United Kingdom under the newly established free trade agreement between the two nations. This historic trade event marks the reopening of a valuable market for Australian sugar suppliers and underscores the positive impact of international trade agreements.
The shipment, totaling 33,000 metric tons of sugar with a current market value of approximately $19 million, has arrived in London. Queensland Sugar Limited, the sender of this shipment, confirms its successful delivery.
The free trade agreement, which officially came into effect on May 31, 2023, has eliminated tariffs that were in place since 1973. Prior to the agreement, UK tariffs on Australian sugar were as high as £350 ($435) per ton, equivalent to approximately 64% of the product's value, as stated by the Australian agriculture and trade ministries.
This inaugural shipment of sugar falls under a limited quota allocated for the year, extending until October. For the upcoming year, the quota will expand to 100,000 tons, with a subsequent annual increase of 20,000 tons every October. This progressive approach will ultimately lead to the complete elimination of tariffs on January 1, 2031.
Mark Hampson of Queensland Sugar Limited expressed confidence that the entire 100,000-ton quota for the upcoming year would be utilized, reflecting the strong demand for Australian sugar in the UK market.
The first consignment of sugar is destined for Tate and Lyle Sugars' Thames Refinery in London. Tate and Lyle Sugars, part of the Florida-based ASR Group, serves as a prominent player in the sugar industry.
The International Trade Council recognizes the significance of this renewed trade relationship between Australia and the UK and the positive impact it has on global commerce. The elimination of tariffs and the expansion of quotas serve as testament to the potential for mutually beneficial trade agreements to bolster international trade.