Indonesia Reduces Tariffs

Qld Country Life

AUSTRALIAN sugar cane farmers have said moves to reduce the tariff on exports to Indonesia by 3 percent will level the playing field.

Indonesia has agreed to reduce tariffs on Australian raw sugar imports to 5 percent in exchange for eliminating import duties on Indonesian herbicides and pesticides as part of moves towards securing a new free trade deal.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita met with his Australian counterpart Steven Ciobo last Wednesday in Jakarta as part of the ongoing negotiations.

Mr Ciobo said the tariff cuts reflected our shared ambition for completing the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

Indonesian pesticides and herbicides are expected to be more competitive in the Australian market and offer greater choice to consumers, while Indonesias processed food and beverage industries are set to benefit from lower raw sugar prices in meeting the demands of national and regional markets, the ministers said in a statement.

Mr Lukita said Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – who revealed the farm trade exchange during talks in February – were determined to conclude IA-CEPA this year and we are doing all we can to make that happen.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita (right) met with his Australian counterpart Steven Ciobo on Wednesday.

Australian Sugar Industry Alliance Chair and Chair of its Trade Committee Paul Schembri said his group was looking forward to Indonesia being restored as a major export destination for Australian raw sugar.

A 3 percent tariff cut is a good outcome for Australian farmers and millers and for Indonesian refiners who want access to our high-quality product at a competitive price, he said.

Australia was put at a disadvantage in 2015 when Indonesia granted Thailand a 5 percent tariff on sugar while Australia stayed at an effective 8 percent.

We went from supplying around a third of Indonesia’s sugar imports to almost nothing. read more

Queensland Farmer’s Federation – Media Release – Reducing energy use, bills and increasing on-farm efficiency.

Queensland Farmer’s Federation –  Reducing Energy Use

Reducing energy use, bills and increasing on-farm efficiency

Queensland farmers are seeing their on-farm electricity use and energy bills reduced as a result of the Queensland Government funded Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) and Ergon Energy, Energy Savers Program.

Over 60% of the 130 farms participating in the QFF Energy Savers program have or plan to implement part of the $3 million of annual energy cost savings identified in the energy efficiency audits across different industries. This includes 50 farms implementing energy efficiency projects and another 32 that are planning to in the near future.

QFF President Stuart Armitage said that despite the evident structural challenges with energy affordability in Queensland, farmers are not waiting around on the promise of eventual price relief.

“Farmers are implementing projects to improve and upgrade irrigation, refrigeration, lighting and installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems,” said Mr. Armitage.

“The biggest uptake has been by irrigators improving pumping systems. Crop requirements, climatic conditions, water licencing and irrigation channel conditions mean they don’t have the luxury of deciding when they pump water.

A recent survey of program participants found that over 90% of respondents felt that Energy Savers has raised awareness of on-farm energy management.

Most encouraging too has been feedback from energy efficiency suppliers that farmers are approaching them for improvements based of the case studies and information provided through the program.

The Energy Savers program has developed and published 45 case studies, including 5 videos covering a range of agricultural industries throughout Queensland all available on the Energy Savers website. These case studies and information have been presented at 50 events throughout the state’s agricultural regions.

“QFF continues to work with Ergon and the State Government to assist farmers move ahead with projects identified in the audits by providing advice and information to reduce barriers, such as understanding the technologies and accessing financing options,”  said Mr. Armitage. read more