Australia's trade minister says he is "hopeful" of striking a free trade deal with the European Union ahead of talks in Japan this weekend, more than five years after negotiations began.

The two sides have tussled over how far Europe should prise open its markets to Australia's sheep meat, beef and sugar exports.

At the same time, Europe wants better access to Australia's rich deposits of "critical minerals", easing its reliance on Russia and China for the key ingredients in clean-energy products such as wind turbines and electric car batteries.

"I am hopeful that with some goodwill on the part of both our groups that we can successfully conclude a free trade agreement," Australia's trade minister, Don Farrell, said in a video statement late Friday after landing at Osaka's Kansai airport.

Farrell confirmed he would try to seal the deal in discussions with his European counterpart, Valdis Dombrovskis, on the sidelines of the Group of Seven trade talks in Osaka.

Any outline agreement reached there would have to be ratified in Brussels and Canberra.

France's trade minister, Olivier Becht, said Friday he did not rule out the possibility of a "technical agreement" between the two sides this weekend, citing "a number of very positive advances".

In July, the two parties failed to reach a deal during talks in Brussels, with Australia saying it had not been guaranteed "significant" access to the European market for its agricultural products.

Australia has also been resisting European demands that it abide by EU geographic indications, which mean that Roquefort cheese for example can only come from the region in France of the same name.

Farrell said the issue of European geographical indications had yet not been settled, in a podcast interview with The Conversation released mid-week.

He promised to consult with farmers' groups on any deal, and insisted that the EU would have to improve its July offer on access to its markets.

"But at the end of the day, my job is to make a decision on the national interest," he said.

"If on balance the things that are good about the European trade agreement outweigh the things that are bad -- because there's always bad things in agreements -- then I feel I've got an obligation to the Australian people to say: 'Yes, we'll sign this agreement'."