It is too early to determine the impact of trade tensions with France and the spillover effect to the broader EU trade environment from the decision by the Australian government to cancel the submarine contract. However, it is useful to understand the current state of trade with the EU region, specifically for Australian agricultural exports and where they fit in the total export mix.
Analysis on the value of Australian export flows in 2020 to the EU highlight four of the top twenty export categories involve agricultural products. In 2020 total export flows to the EU from Australia was circa A$9.1 billion dollars with agricultural products accounting for nearly A$1.3 billion of the total trade, or about 14.3%.
Oil seeds (predominantly canola), grains, straw and fodder exports to the EU was the top agricultural product type, coming in at fourth place behind export products from the mining and pharmaceutical sector with trade value at A$0.75 billion in 2020 or 8.2% of the total export value going to the EU. Mineral fuels, mineral oils and their associated products held the top spot in terms of trade flows to the EU with nearly A$1.8 billion in export value in 2020, or 19.4% of the total trade.
Meat, fruit and nuts, and animal fibres were the three other agricultural product categories sitting just outside the top ten, in eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth spot – respectively. Australia’s meat trade to the EU was A$0.22 billion in 2020 or 2.4% of the total export value. Fruit and nuts, along with animal fibres/fabrics held almost the same trade value at A$0.16 billion or 1.8% of the total export trade.