Queensland sugar growers are disappointed in the export outcomes of the Trans Pacific Partnership, with the increase in sugar exports to the United States falling well short of industry expectations.
Expectations of an extra 500 000 to 700 000 tonnes a year fell well short of the 65 000 tonne increase outlined in preliminary documents released late Monday.
Director of Canegrowers Mackay Paul Schembri said the industry was disappointed with the export shortfall, but that any increase was welcome.
“We are very disappointed, it’s the scale of the outcome for sugar that disappoints us, we didn’t get big numbers,” Mr Schembri said.
“At the end of the day we’ve now got a toehold in the market and hopefully we can build upon it,” he said.
Federal MP for Dawson George Christensen said the deal did not allow the level of admittance the industry had longed for.
“Overall the TPP deal for agriculture is great, but when it comes to sugar, the deal is more ‘okay’ rather than great, as the interactions with the United States have fallen way short of the mark,” Mr Christensen said.
“I’m very disappointed at how the land of the free has determined to block free trade and deny our sugar growers access to their market,” he said.
Mr Christensen said that the prospect for growth in the sugar industry bought about by the TPP were “ill-defined”.
“I know there are prospects for growth in the deal but it is uncertain as to whether those prospects will eventuate,” he said.
LNP Member for Burdekin, Dale Last said the deal is a positive step in the right direction however it is not as far as they had hoped.
“This deal is certainly welcomed for an industry that at the movement is facing significant challenges,” Mr Last said.
“There is a degree of optimism out there and hope to increase the export of sugar in the future,” he said.
The deal is expected to stimulate growth in the Asia Pacific region, however Mr Schembri is concerned on how it will impact on investment for the industry.
“It will probably have an impact on the industry in terms of investment, certainly we were hoping that if this deal if it could be pulled off, would put a huge plank of stability under the industry,” Mr Schembri said.