Qatar Axes Lamb Import Subsidies, Jeopardising Australia’s $300m-a-year Trade Deal



Laurissa Smith and Belinda Varischetti | ABC News Australia

In a blow to lamb exporters, the Qatari Government has abruptly ended the subsidy of its Australian lamb importation program, jeopardising a deal worth $300 million a year to the Australian industry.

The Qatar subsidies were due to end by 2023, but the expiration date has been brought forward to December 31, blindsiding processors in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

The subsidy, paid to importers of Australian lamb in Qatar, has been in place since 2015.

This latest trade blow comes as local farmers and associated industries are already reeling from China’s import bans on parts of Australia’s agriculture and meat sectors.

Commodity analyst Matt Dalgleish from Thomas Elder Markets said the timing of the Qatar Government’s announcement was surprising.

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