Insight – New opportunities for edible tallow exports to Mexico

The first shipment of Australian edible tallow is due to reach Mexico in the coming weeks.

This new market opportunity is the result of long-term work by government and industry. Together, they worked to establish the technical and commercial arrangements required for trade to start.

Australia is a signatory to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Under the agreement, Australian tallow (HS 1502) is not subject to tariffs when exported to Mexico. Countries without a free trade agreement are subject to a 10% tariff rate.

Tallow (rendered animal fat) has several culinary uses, including frying and as shortening for baked goods. It has become popular in recent years.

Trade implications

Australian tallow exporters now have more export options.

Mexico imported more than $200 million of tallow in 2020, all from the US (TradeMap 2021).

Australian tallow trade

Australian tallow supplies are currently constrained because of low beef production. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences expects beef production to increase in 2021–22. This will also increase the supply of tallow.

Australia exported $10.8 million of edible tallow products in 2020–21 (ABS 2021). Most tallow went to:

  • Korea (69%)
  • New Zealand (10%)
  • Taiwan (7%).

Figure 1: Australian edible tallow exports 2016–17 to 2020–21

Australian_edible_tallow_exports

Resources

The Manual of Importing Country Requirements has import requirements for Mexico.

Austrade has more information about the Mexican market.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has published a guide to exporting and importing goods using the CPTPP.

The Australian Government’s network of Agriculture Counsellors provided information for this article. More information about the Agriculture Counsellor network, including contact details, are available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

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