China signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand on April 7. Ou Zhikui of the Nanfang Daily looks at the implications for Chinese dairy producers. Recent price rises for dairy products in China will be eased now China has concluded negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand. Under the terms of the deal, import tariffs on New Zealand dairy products will decrease one percentage point a year over the coming ten years until it reaches zero in 2019. China is now in talks for an FTA with Australia. New Zealand currently accounts for 80% of China’s dairy product imports [TCP has not verified this figure]. Chinese importers that depend heavily on New Zealand will largely benefit from the FTA and the reduction in import tariffs will ease the burden of ballooning dairy product prices in the Chinese market. China imports 130,000 to 140,000 tons of milk powder every year, 70% of which comes from New Zealand and is subject to a 10% import tax. According to the FTA, China will abolish tariffs on 97.2% of its imports from New Zealand January 1, 2019, with the first 24.3% abolished the day following the signing as the FTA took effect. It will be ten years
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