9 February 2018

Indian tariff sowing seeds of uncertainty

Victorian grain farmers are reeling from another blow to our trade relationship with India, after the Indian Government announced their decision to place further tariffs and import duties on Australian grains.

The change raises the tariff on Australian chickpeas to 40 percent, increasing from the 30 percent tariff imposed late last year. India has also imposed a 10 percent import duty on a broad array of imported goods, which further compounds the blow.

“This increase flies in the face of previous discussions with the Australian government, in which officials were assured that India would provide notice prior to imposing or increasing any further tariffs,” said Ross Johns, VFF Grains President.

The VFF are urging the Indian government to consider the negative long term implications of this latest decision, both for their domestic consumers and their key trading partners.

“Tariff barriers discourage Australian growers from planting chickpeas and other grains aimed at the Indian market, and motivate them to consider alternative crops. Fluctuating trade barriers create an unpredictable trade environment, which significantly impact Australian growers’ planting decisions,” said Mr Johns.

India currently has a strong harvest, which has contributed to their motivation in raising barriers. However, India risks creating shortages in leaner domestic production years, with less international supply to fill the gap if exporting countries turn away from planting pulses.

The VFF are working with our representatives and affiliates at the Grains Industry Market Access Forum, who are meeting with the Indian government next week to discuss the tariffs and potential alternative measures for addressing Indian domestic market supply issues.

Media Contacts:

Ross Johns, VFF Grains President, 0417 909 225

Sarah Martin, VFF Media Community Officer, 0409 739 121