Malt exports to Japan await new tariff details

The UK and Japan have agreed in principle a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (EPA), which the government says will give UK businesses tariff-free access on exports to Japan.

The Department of International Trade is yet to give any detail on the proposed agreement, saying it will be published when it is laid before parliament in the coming weeks.

The proposed deal includes market access for malt exporters, which the government claims is more generous and easier to access than the EU’s quota arrangement with Japan.

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Japan imports about 500,000t of malt a year and with average exports of 75,000t a year over the past three years, the UK is its second biggest supplier of imported malt, after Canada.

The recently agreed EU-Japan EPA Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) for malt allows 185,700t of EU malt into Japan tariff free. This currently includes UK malt.

Malt facts

  • UK malt production – 1.74 -1.82m tonnes a year
  • 13% of UK malt is exported – 154,000t in 2019-20 crop year (three-year average 181,000t)
  • UK malt exports to Japan – 66,000t in 2019-20 crop year (three-year average  75,000t)
  • Tariff rate for EU (currently including UK) malt exports to Japan – zero within TRQ of 185,700t
  • Where no TRQ or similar arrangement is in place, a tariff of £160/t applies (21.3yen/kg)
  • 1.3t of barley makes 1t of malt