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Wine flows after Korean free trade pact

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016 Lisa Martin

South Koreans are going nuts for macadamias and the Australian wine is flowing.

But a jubilant Trade Minister Steve Ciobo and counterpart Joo Hyung-hwan only had water available to toast the progress of the close-to-two-year free trade pact between Australia and South Korea.

The pair reviewed the deal's progress so far during their bilateral meeting on Thursday afternoon (Peru time) on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

The agreement was finalised in 2014 and there have been two rounds of tariff cuts so far with a third due on January 1.

"We're seeing really strong results," Mr Ciobo told AAP after the meeting.

The ministers were particularly impressed with the export growth of Korean cars and trucks as well as Australian agricultural products.

Highlights between January and September include:

* the removal of a 15 per cent tariff on Australian wines resulting in a 67 per cent boost in exports to Korea taking the trade value to $9.5 million

* sugar volumes doubling to reach $636 million in value

* fresh and chilled beef exports growing by more than 50 per cent to reach $302 million in value with the tariff cut from 40 to 32 per cent

* Macadamia nut exports tripling to more than $10 million in sales.

There were also strong results on the resources front - Korea's imports of Australian liquefied natural gas tripled to more than $1.4 billion, with the immediate elimination of the three per cent tariff.

The trade deal with Korea was part of a trifecta which included Japan and China, netted under then prime minister Tony Abbott.

The next round of tariff cuts includes more reductions for beef and Macadamia nuts as well as Brussels sprouts, cabbages and crude petroleum.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will arrive in Lima for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit on Friday morning Peru time.

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