Growing Indonesian market presents opportunity for Australian grains

By Country News

The future of Australia’s largest wheat market depends on Australia being able to hold on to its share of the noodle market, effectively target the premium baking sector and get Australian grain into the growing feed market.

That was the message to the Australian grains industry from Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre chief executive officer Richard Simonaitis at the 2019 Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Research Update last month.

Mr Simonaitis said Indonesia was becoming an increasingly important export partner, with Australia already exporting $1.2billion every year on average.

‘‘Population (in Indonesia) is growing rapidly, which means more mouths to feed and a larger overall market in Australia’s well-established noodle sector,’’ he said.

‘‘AEGIC’s analysis has shown that by 2030 Indonesia’s population will jump by another 30million.

‘‘People are becoming wealthier, with per capita GDP jumping from US$780 in 2000 to more than US$3800 in 2017 and the middle class exploding from two million people in 2004 to 120million people by 2020.

‘‘People are becoming more urbanised and buying more baked goods and other wheat-based convenience foods — good news for Australian efforts to break into the premium bread sector.’’

Mr Simonaitis said everyone had a part to play to support the Indonesian market and increase value for Australian grain growers by growing wheat varieties Indonesia wants to buy and building skills and capacity.

Mr Simonaitis said AEGIC’s market intelligence on South-East Asian wheat quality requirements had provided the industry with a solid grounding on which to position for market growth.

‘‘If Australia can capture 10 per cent of the baking market, it would be worth $72million for the Australian industry,’’ he said.

‘‘Australian wheat is already well-regarded for noodles and our market intelligence is helping the industry keep ahead of the competition by focusing on quality enhancements.’’