Australian wheat well-regarded and ready to rise to the challenge in South East Asia

Monday 27 February, 2017

  • Research confirms that Australian wheat is well-regarded in South East Asia for noodles.
  • Australia faces an increasing challenge from low-price Black Sea and Argentinian wheat, as well as wheat from North America for the premium baking sector.
  • Meeting the grain quality and technical service requirements of Australia’s key South East Asian wheat markets is a focus for the Australian wheat industry.

See also: How does South East Asia like their noodles?

Australian wheat is well-regarded in South East Asia for a wide range of Asian-style noodles, according to research conducted by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC).

The research project, supported by the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC), involved engaging with more than 20 South East Asian milling companies across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines to identify their wheat quality preferences for a range of Asian-style noodle and bread products.

AEGIC Program Leader – Market Requirements and Opportunities Roslyn Jettner said the research confirmed that Australian wheat had an excellent reputation for noodles – particularly brightness, colour stability and texture for eating – and there were opportunities ahead.

“To capitalise on these opportunities, Australia needs to defend its share of the South East Asian noodle market, drive improvements in wheat quality for bread making, and provide more technical support for the Australian industry and South East Asian milling companies,” she said.

“South East Asia is the largest and fastest-growing market for Australian wheat. These markets are critical to supporting demand and prices for Australian wheat and are extremely important for Australian producers.

“However, Australia is 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 confectionary segments.”

Ms Jettner said the Australian industry needed to improve its understanding of the quality requirements of South East Asian markets and produce wheat of the quality that closely matches those requirements.

“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.

AEGIC regularly engages with flour millers and processors in South East Asia to ensure the quality and functionality of Australian wheat is well understood.

This research was presented at the GRDC Grains Research Updates in February 2017 at:

  • Wagga Wagga (presented by AEGIC General Manager – Research & Technical Services Dr Ken Quail. February 14, 2017)
  • Perth (presented by AEGIC Program Leader – Market Requirements and Opportunities Roslyn Jettner. February 27, 2017)

 More information

  • South East Asia is the largest and fastest-growing market for Australian wheat, importing 42.9mmt over the past five years valued at A$2.9 billion per annum, representing 44% of Australian wheat export volumes for that period.
  • AEGIC engaged with more than 20 South East Asian milling companies across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines to identify their wheat quality preferences for a range of end-products, including:
    • Malaysian Hokkein noodles
    • Indonesian fresh noodles (mie basah)
    • Philippines fresh wet noodles
    • Malaysian loaf bread
    • Indonesian sweet buns and loaf bread
    • Philippines Pan de Sal and sandwich bread

 AEGIC has conducted separate research on the increasing challenge posed by wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia:

Media contact
Keir Tunbridge
keir.tunbridge@aegic.org.au
08 6168 9904
0438 632 463