MILLING-SECTOR veteran Franciscus Welirang will offer a unique insight into the factors at play in one of Australia’s most significant wheat markets, Indonesia, when he speaks at the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) in Melbourne this week.
Currently a director of Bogasari Flour Mills and chairman of the Indonesian Flour Millers’ Association, Mr Welirang joined the industry in the decade prior to 1998 when national logistics organisation BULOG relinquished control of the market, and Indonesia opened to flour imports.
It sparked a rapid growth in flour use, and milling capacity for human-consumption and stockfeed markets.
Mr Welirang said Indonesia’s flour-milling industry now includes publicly listed companies operating mills with professional management and high-tech equipment, evolving alongside small-to-medium enterprises which are often community-oriented and family-owned businesses.
The Indonesian consumers choices are changing, and more flour mills are being built to satisfy greater per capita human consumption of wheat flour.
At the same time, Indonesia has seen a huge growth in milling feedstuffs based on growing demand for animal feeding, which interfaces with Indonesia’s importance as a live cattle destination.
While the Indonesian market does not consume the year-round quantity of wheat it once did when the fleet of Bogasari vessels brought regular shipments of Western Australian wheat to the company’s mills, Indonesia remains Australia’s biggest-volume wheat customer.
It is also a consumer of imported flour made from Australian wheat which is used to supply bakery as well as noodle products.
Mr Welirang’s talk is scheduled for Wednesday, day one of the two-day program, and is entitled ‘Understanding the demographics and trends in the Indonesian flour-milling market’.