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AUS: Farmers Hopeful About Free Trade Agreements

AUS: Farmers Hopeful About Free Trade Agreements

New free trade agreements with Japan, South Korea and China could pave the way for greater exports of premium Australian vegetable products, states a recently released discussion paper by AUSVEG. “Lower returns domestically can be attributed to an excess supply of fresh produce, which has a downward effect on price,” says AUSVEG economist Steve Razdan. “This oversupply could be re-directed overseas to growing markets in the Middle East and Asia, where there is an increasing demand for premium vegetables.” Japan is a leading export destination for Australian vegetables, accounting for almost 40% of vegetable exports to Asia in 2013-14. According to the discussion paper, Australia’s higher-quality vegetables are prime for exporting, with a rapidly growing middle class in Asia and projected growth in the food sector in the UAE stimulating demand for a greater variety of vegetables. (Source: ausveg.com.au)