TRADE in all grades of Australian wheat is set to benefit from the transition from containers to bulk shipping amid growing demand from flour millers in Myanmar.
Australia’s wheat exports in 2017 were 400,000t, worth $117 million, having doubled since 2012 and will continue to grow.
“The Myanmar wheat market will continue to grow and can reach 1 million tonnes in the years ahead, potentially worth over $300 million,” Australian Export Grain Innovation Centre (AEGIC) South East Asia markets manager Sean Cowman said.
“Bulk shipping is a game changer for the Myanmar flour and feed milling industries and will change the dynamic of this market.
“AEGIC is working hard to maintain Australian wheat relevance and presence in this market as it grows.”
Mr Cowman was among presenters at an Australian Wheat Technical Seminar hosted by AEGIC and Austrade last month in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. The seminar was attended by 50 flour millers, bakers and noodle processors.
AEGIC wheat quality technical markets manager Larisa Cato said in-market technical engagement was crucial in helping Australia continue to meet the needs of Myanmar wheat buyers.
“Myanmar is becoming more and more significant for Australian wheat exports, and it’s important we connect directly with the people who use Australian wheat,” Dr Cato said.
“This not only helps grain importers and processors in Myanmar get the best out of Australian wheat, it helps the Australian industry maintain and grow this developing market.”
Over the past several years, AEGIC has conducted in-market visits, seminars and workshops to help flour millers understand and optimise the value of Australian wheat with the objective of positioning Australia as the preferred wheat supplier for Myanmar.
Myanmar fact file
- In line with trends in other Asian countries, diets are evolving to incorporate more wheat-based products.
- Wheat imports into Myanmar are expected to change from container to bulk in the coming years.
- Flour milling capacity is expected to increase with new mills expected to be operational soon.
- As demand for wheat grows, the challenge posed by Black Sea and North American wheat will grow.
- Australian wheat is currently preferred for noodles and there are opportunities to increase the use of Australian wheat for baking.