AUSTRALIA

 

Australiaremoved most forms of commodity-specific agricultural assistance in themid-1980s, retaining primarily safety net programs to assist producers in timesof financial difficulty.  Australiadoes not use longer term income support payments. 

 

Research and development corporations (RDCs) andcompanies are rural research funding agencies that support innovation toachieve efficiency and productivity, quality products, and resourcesustainability of Australia's agricultural, fish, and forestryindustries.  The government collects industry levies for research anddevelopment and matches them for appropriations to industry corporations andcompanies.  

 

 

Corn and Sorghum

        The Australian corn andsorghum industries have historically played a minor role in the overall grainmarket.  However, demand fromintensive livestock industries has prompted growth in these sectors.

        WTO bound import tarifflevels: sorghum−1%, corn−1%.

 

Cotton

        The Australian cottonindustry relies heavily on exports, with over 90% of production sold on theworld market.

        WTO bound import tarifflevel: cotton, carded−1.5%.

 

Rice

        Through an agencyagreement with the Rice Marketing Board, Rice Growers Co-operative Limited(RCL) receives, stores, processes, and markets 99% of Australian riceproduction.  RCL exports about 85% of rice to over 70 destinations,while the domestic market receives the remaining 15%.

        WTO bound import tarifflevel: unmilled−1%, milled−1%.

 

Soybeans

        Soybeans are producedin small quantities in Australia. Approximately 70 to 75 kilotonnes (2.6 to 2.8 million bu) are producedannually.

        WTO bound tariff levelfor soybeans is 1%.  

 

Sugar

        Raw sugar is consistently one of Australia'sleading farm export commodities, exporting around 80% of total production.

        On January 1, 2006, the Queensland state governmentended statutory single desk selling of sugar by Queensland Sugar Ltd (QSL) toallow contractually-based selling. The majority of mills have negotiated contracts with QSL but at leastone mill has opted out and is now exporting its own sugar.

        In 2002, the government of Australia provided A$444million (about $241 million) of assistance over a multi-year period to help theindustry through immediate short term difficulties and longer term measures tohelp the industry undertake reform.

        WTO bound import tariff level: rawsugar−13.9%, refined sugar−10.0%.

 

Wheat

        Wheat is the major cropin Australia with production for 2005/06 estimated as 24 million metric tons(881 million bushels).

        The Australian WheatBoard (AWB) has the power to acquire all wheat produced in Australia formarketing within Australia and overseas. However, trading improprieties bythe AWB are resulting in changes being made to the single desk authority.  The veto power AWB holds overAustralian wheat exports has been transferred to the Minister of Agriculturefor a period of six months.