163 Australia-Japan Trade Negotiations: Third Meeting Of Commodity Committee [1]

2nd November, 1956


Dried Skim Milk MR. PHILLIPS outlined Australia's views as explained by Dr.

Westerman in plenary. [2] He advised that Australia's detailed request was for import quota of 25% of Japan's imports or 3 1/2m.

lb., whichever was the greater.

MR. UYAMA explained that it was not correct to say M.I.T.I.

imported powdered milk. Most of the powdered milk imported was for School Lunch Programme supplied by C.C.C. at reduced prices.

MR. PHILLIPS said that we had understood that recent prices were 108A. per ton c.i.f. and that Australia could meet this price.

MR. UYAMA said that latest C.C.C. prices were actually $80-$90 per ton c.i.f.

In reply to a question by Mr. Campbell, Mr. Uyama advised that he did not think that there was any particular interest in reconstitution at present although he confirmed that there had been discussion on this line in the recent past.

In reply to Mr. Phillips, Mr. Uyama said that the School Lunch powdered milk was purchased on behalf of an Association.

Apparently the Association has a contract of some sort with C.C.C.

This covers most of the imports.

Imports are licensed under 'Miscellaneous' with no specific allocation.

MR. PHILLIPS enquired whether the position was in effect that there was no commercial market for dried skim milk.

MR. UYAMA suggested that any commercial market would be for stock food. A market may develop but there was no guide at present.

There was a small local industry.

MR. PHILLIPS asked whether dried milk could be put on A.A.

MR. UYAMA said that as there was no substantial demand other than for School Lunch A.A. had not been considered.

MR. PHILLIPS suggested A.A. might be an alternative request since the item is small and demand fairly well defined.

MR. UYAMA summarised the position as:

i. Imports almost all for School Lunch Programmes from C.C.C.

ii. Some domestic production.

iii. Need for commercial import not yet felt.

iv. Tokyo could be approached on A.A. but may be difficulties, domestic producers may have to be considered.

It was agreed to leave dried skim milk for further consideration.

Dried Vine Fruit MR. PHILLIPS explained that licences were apparently not available for Australian dried vine fruit but could be obtained for fruit from other countries.

MR. UYAMA explained that there were no planned imports of dried fruit which were a 'Miscellaneous' item. Imports shown from U.S.A.

were probably for P.X. and hotel trade. There was a trade arrangement with Greece and dried fruits had been insisted on.

Similarly Iraq (?) had insisted early this year that Japan purchase dried fruit at the risk of complete cessation of buying from Japan.

(N.B. There was some confusion in the minds of the Japanese delegation as to what was meant by dried vine fruit: they insist that they do not import from Israel and suggest it should be Iraq.)

MR. UYAMA pointed out that they were importing dried vine fruit only under exceptional circumstances. They ware also importing from Cyprus under an agreement.

He explained that these agreements did not commit Japan to purchase but required an allocation to be made.

The demand was for confectionery and was not large nor constant.

In fact importers often requested allocations be reduced.

MR. PHILLIPS inquired whether A.A. was a possibility.

MR. UYAMA said that the item was one which gave rise to constant discussion and it was doubtful if it would be considered suitable for A.A. He asked whether Australia was competitive with Greece etc.

MR. PHILLIPS said that our exporters said that they were competitive but that Japanese importers had reported being unable to get licences.

MR. CAMPBELL said that our dried fruit commanded a premium in U.K.

It was agreed that the item be referred to plenary.

1 This meeting commenced at 2 p.m. Attendance was the same as that recorded in note 1 to Document 162.

2 See Document 159.

[AA : A1209/23, 57/5474]