Barley sector pleased with TPP

The head of the Barley Council of Canada says there is no doubt the Canadian barley industry will realize significant benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Improved market access to Japan alone could boost the value of Canadian barley exports by tens of millions of dollars a year, said council chair Brian Otto.

“The TPP agreement is certainly very, very good news for our industry,” said Otto.

“On feed barley, for example, Japan could apply a tariff charge of up to $450 a tonne on that barley coming from Canada. When that tariff comes off, we’ll be playing on a level playing field with our competitors, which makes it a lot easier for us to trade into Japan.”

The barley council is currently assessing the potential financial impact of the TPP deal.

However, a detailed estimate may not be available until additional details of the deal become available, Otto said.

Data provided by the barley council suggest that Canada currently exports 250,000 tonnes of non-malting barley to Japan every year. That includes 150,000 tonnes of feed barley and 100,000 tonnes for food purposes.

The current tariff applied to Canadian feed barley entering Japan is $113 per tonne, which is well below the maximum level of $450 per tonne.

Nonetheless, the value of Canadian feed barley exports to Japan could increase by nearly $17 million when the $113 per tonne tariff is removed.

Canadian food barley is subject to a 45 percent tariff, which will eventually be reduced to zero once the deal is ratified and implemented. Canada exports 160,000 tonnes of malting barley per year to Japan.

Otto said the Canadian malting barley industry is still waiting for details on how the TPP deal is likely to affect exports. It is believed it will establish limits on how much Canadian malting barley can be sold into Japan and other TPP nations.

Otto said the deal as a whole will result in improved market access for the Canadian industry.

“We haven’t got the actual numbers on what’s included in the TPP on the malt barley side yet,” he said.

“We were assured that we would be happy with what was negotiated (for malting barley), but again, we’re still waiting to see details on that.”

The removal of import tariffs on pork and beef products is also expected to benefit the domestic feed barley market.

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