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AUSTRALIA

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rancher

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AUSTRALIA PLANS NEW QUOTA SYSTEM FOR BEEF EXPORTS TO US




CANBERRA, Aug 03, 2005 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) -- Australia's beef quota with the United States will operate on a first come, first served basis from next year, Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran said today.

Mr McGauran said following a review of the way the 378,000 tonne quota operates, the government would remove the company-specific quota allocation system that presently operates.

"Today's announcement will benefit Australia's beef industry, by providing freer access to the US market, to a greater number of beef exporters, and will come into effect on January 1, 2006," he said in a statement.

"Under the new arrangements, quota access will be available to all licensed meat exporters on a first come, first served basis, with certification issued for each consignment.

"I believe a no-allocation, first come first served arrangement with controls will minimise the government intervention, quota distortions and compliance constraints inherent in the existing arrangements."

It follows growing speculation after the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States, and with growing Australian exports to the more lucrative Japanese market, that Australian beef producers are unlikely to fill the US quota in coming years.

The quota is set to increase 20,000 tonnes in 2007 under the Australia-US free trade agreement, with an additional five thousand tonnes every two years after that.

The existing system has caused problems in recent years as Australia has gone close to filling the 378,000 tonne quota.
 
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