AUSTRALIAN wheat is a preferred input for South East Asian noodle manufacturing, but competition looms in the region’s breadmaking and price-sensitive markets, according to research conducted by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC).
That was the message from AEGIC program leader – market requirements and opportunities Roslyn Jettner, in her address to the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) Update in Perth yesterday.
Ms Jettner said the appraisal of South East Asia as the largest and fastest-growing market for Australian wheat came from GRDC-supported research which engaged with more than 20 milling companies across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and The Philippines.
The researched aimed to identify their wheat-quality preferences for a range of Asian-style noodle and bread products, and found that Australian wheat’s brightness, colour stability and texture for eating gave it an excellent reputation for noodles.
Ms Jettner said Australia was experiencing increasing competition in price-sensitive markets from low-cost exporters such as Russia, Ukraine and Argentina.
“Additionally, Australia faces strong competition from North American wheat, which has a good reputation in the high-value baking sector and commands a significant premium.
“Australian wheat is currently less competitive for a range of baked products, including the rapidly expanding premium bread, biscuits, cakes and confectionery segments.”
Ms Jettner said opportunities for market expansion existed, but the Australian industry needed to improve its understanding of the quality requirements of South East Asian markets and produce wheat to suit.
“To capitalise on these opportunities, Australia needs to defend its share of the South East Asian noodle market, drive improvements in wheat quality for breadmaking, and provide more technical support for the Australian industry and South East Asian milling companies,” she said.
“These markets are critical to supporting demand and prices for Australian wheat and are extremely important for Australian producers.
“Continuing to engage with our South East Asian customers to raise awareness of their needs and achieve improvement in wheat-quality attributes for both noodle and bakery products will help Australia maintain its competitive advantage and price position,” she said.
Over the past five years, South East Asia imported 42.9mmt, or 44 per cent, of Australian wheat exports.
AEGIC’s Dr Ken Quail spoke at GRDC’s Wagga Wagga Update on technical aspects of Australia’s South East Asian wheat market. Click here to read more.
Products evaluated in this latest AEGIC project included:
- Malaysian Hokkein noodles
- Indonesian fresh noodles
- Philippines fresh wet noodles
- Malaysian loaf bread
- Indonesian sweet buns and loaf bread
- Philippines Pan de Sal and sandwich bread
source : AEGIC