Japan is one of the industry’s major export markets with 20 per cent of the Australian crop sold there.
Once the FTA is signed, the existing 3 per cent tariff will be reduced immediately to zero.
The Australian Macadamia Society’s chief executive officer, Jolyon Burnett, says it’s a pleasing result.
“That’ll mean a 50 cent reduction in the cost of a kilo of kernel, and the important thing that’s 50 per cent reduction with respect to our competitors – South Africa, Kenya, Hawaii,” he said.
“So it gives us a competitive advantage against those other origins.”
Mr Burnett says that Japan already prefers the Australian product to the other origins.
“This increased priced competitiveness will just reinforce the strength of the Japanese market for Australian kernel,” he said.
The industry expects that the demand from Japan will grow over time.
“The tariff was not a huge one and we’d been able to claim the majority of that market despite the tariff,” he said.
“But I think it becomes a more competitive product, it’s a product that is in strong demand by the Japanese market and I would expect as we grow our supply we would expect sales to Japan increase.
“Most of it goes into confectionary and to snacking nut, but there’s huge potential to grow that market.”
Mr Burnett says the industry would be delighted to achieve a similar outcome in an FTA with China.
“As everyone is aware, China is such a large and rapidly growing market, and they also like most of Asia have a rapidly growing taste for macadamias,” he said.
“They see it as a premium nut, it has prestige to give as a gift, they enjoy it as a snacking nut, and we could certainly sell more if we were more price competitive in that market.”
Source: ABC News