India reduces tariff on Australian lentils

By Country News

Australian imports will again flow freely into India, with the country announcing it will cut tariffs on lentil imports for the first time in three years.

The 33 per cent tariff, which was introduced in 2017 and also applied to chickpeas, will be slashed to 11 per cent until the end of August.

An announcement from the Indian Government last week announced a tariff of 10 per cent plus 10 per cent tax would be applied to red lentils until August 31 — a tariff of 11 per cent.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the decision came after weeks of discussions.

‘‘We've been working continually with India and in fact we had some wins on barley only in the last couple of weeks around some of their fumigation requirements which obviously helps our barley producers,’’ he said.

‘‘It's an emerging market that provides considerable potential for Australian farmers.

“I think what we should all take out of international trade and the recent events here in Australia is that exporters, in simple business principles, should not have market concentration — it's important that we spread the risk.

‘‘And that's a simple business principle, that's not passing dispersion on any foreign state. That's simply saying that's a good business principle in which to adhere.’’

Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann welcomed the news.

“Any changes that reduce barriers to trade and creates market opportunities are welcome,” he said.

The reduction in tariffs will not apply to chickpeas.

Discussions are ongoing about trade opportunities for Australian grain, particularly malting barley, into the Indian market.