Australian grains on a roll in Vietnam

12 June, 2019

Vietnam’s appetite for bread and noodles made from premium Australian wheat could jump 44% by 2030, according to new AEGIC analysis.

AEGIC’s report, Wheat and barley markets in Vietnam: their strategic importance to Australia, analyses Vietnam’s grain market and economy to understand trends and suggest future actions for Australia.

Lead author Dr Peter White said Australia has historically been Vietnam’s largest wheat supplier, providing about 1.5mmt each year on average – however in recent years Black Sea wheat has been encroaching in the feed sector.

“About 0.9mmt of Australian wheat was used in Vietnam’s higher priced food market and we expect increased demand to expand this market segment to 1.3mmt by 2030 – a 44% increase,” he said.

“Similar to other South East Asian countries, Australian wheat has an excellent reputation for noodles in Vietnam. Australian wheat is also Vietnam’s first choice for bread (banh mi), which is quite unusual in Asia countries.

“To maintain and grow this market, the Australian grains industry has to make sure our wheat continues to meet the quality expectations of Vietnamese end-users as the economy grows and incomes increase.”

Dr White said malt and feed barley were also potential areas of growth for Australian exports.

“Vietnamese people love their beer,” he said. “Vietnam is one of the top 10 beer markets in the world, and Australia is already their largest supplier of malt and malt barley.”

“In the two years since the Intermalt malting plant opened in Vietnam (partly owned by CBH), barley imports into Vietnam have increased from about 50,000mt to more than 150,000mt in 2018. Australia supplied about 80% of this barley. This malting plant has the ability to double its capacity by 2030.”

Dr White said feed barley was another untapped market for Australia.

“The feed grain market in Vietnam has expanded rapidly in the past 10 years, but feed barley is not used in this market. Educating Vietnamese buyers about the benefits of Australian feed barley could create valuable new opportunities for Australian barley.”

AEGIC’s Chief Economist, Professor Ross Kingwell, said Vietnam would remain an important market for Australia in the years to come.

“Vietnam’s middle class will make up one-quarter of the population by 2030 and will demand higher quality food and beverages, such as whole wheat breads, premium noodles and full malt beer*,” he said.

“As Vietnam’s economy grows, it will be very important for Australia to carefully monitor and respond to the changing needs of Vietnamese flour mills, food manufacturers and consumers.”

“Convenience and affordability will remain a major factor for most people in Vietnam for the foreseeable future, so Australian wheat for human consumption needs to be attractively priced whilst maintaining its preferred quality status in the market.

“Australian wheat remains under pressure from lower-cost grain producers such as Russia, Ukraine and Argentina, which will be an ongoing challenge.”

* Many lower-priced beers in Vietnam and other Asian countries use rice or other adjuncts (in addition to malt) during the brewing process.

AEGIC is an initiative of the Western Australian State Government and Australia’s Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Fact file

  • Vietnam is Australia’s second-largest wheat market (after Indonesia) worth $460 million each year on average.
  • Australia exports about 1.5mmt to Vietnam each year on average. About 0.9mmt of this is used in Vietnam’s higher priced food market. Increased demand could expand this market segment to 1.3mmt by 2030 – a 44% increase.
  • Vietnam is experiencing rapid social and economic change with its economy set to double by 2030.
  • At 96 million people, Vietnam is the third most populous nation in South East Asia. Vietnam’s emerging middle class will double from 13% to 26% by 2026 – however the middle class is small relative to other South East Asian countries such as Indonesia.
  • Wheat consumption for food per capita in Vietnam has increased from 5kg in 1990 to over 16kg in 2018, and will continue to grow to about 23kg by 2030.
  • Barley imports into Vietnam have increased from about 50,000 to more than 150,000mt in 2018 – 80% of this from Australia. This could potentially double by 2030.

A roadside stall selling banh mi in Vietnam

More News

21 April, 2021

AEGIC behind the scenes: Australian wheat for Asian noodles

The Japanese udon noodle market is Australia’s most stable premium wheat market. Japanese noodle lovers know what they like when they’re tucking into a delicious bowl of udon or ramen noodles. AEGIC runs a highly-trained udon noodle sensory evaluation program with the Japanese Flour Millers Association (JFMA) to ensure new Australian wheat varieties meet Japan’s strict requirements. […]

15 April, 2021

Enhancing noodle texture and colour

Asian flour millers prefer to buy Australian wheat for noodles because of its bright, stable colour and good texture. Thanks to a landmark AEGIC research project*, we know that noodle colour, colour stability, and texture are among the most important factors that flour millers look for when buying wheat for noodles. The research found that […]

13 April, 2021

50 – The Rise of the Middle Class

02 March, 2021

Whole grain for better health

Increasing whole grain consumption represents a major opportunity and challenge for the food industry. Extensive evidence now shows the connection between whole grain consumption and reduced risk of several chronic diet-related diseases. Greater intake of whole grains in the diet leads to reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, and diabetes. To address this […]

26 February, 2021

AGIC Asia 2021 to reach Asian feed and whole grain buyers

The Australian Grain Industry Conference 2021 will feature a special session led by AEGIC on the benefits of Australian grains for animal feed, and the health benefits of whole grains for human consumption. AGIC Asia, which will be held virtually this year on Wednesday 3 March 2021, is a key date on the grain industry […]

05 February, 2021

Stimulating Australian feed grain demand in the Philippines and Thailand

Feed grain buyers in the Philippines and Thailand learned the compelling benefits of using Australian feed grains for swine following two well-attended AEGIC webinars this week. The webinars, presented in conjunction with Austrade, featured experienced Australian feed nutrition expert Tony Edwards as keynote speaker. The Philippines event attracted 150 representatives of the grain and animal […]

23 November, 2020

Statement regarding Grains Australia CEO appointment

The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) welcomes the appointment of Jonathan Wilson as the inaugural CEO of Grains Australia. AEGIC Chairman Ron Storey said the formation of Grains Australia was a significant milestone for the Australian grains industry. “Grains Australia will consolidate important industry good services and functions across the grains value chain,” he […]

19 November, 2020

Whole grain wheat: healthy for mi and youtiao

Youtiao – a type of fried bread stick popular all across Asia – could represent an opportunity to get healthy Australian whole grain wheat in the diets of health-conscious Asian consumers. Food lovers throughout Asia are becoming more and more interested in whole grain foods and their many health benefits, and flour millers are starting […]

12 November, 2020

Strengthening Australia’s wheat bond with Indonesia

A virtual seminar on the value and quality of Australian wheat attracted nearly 70 Indonesian flour millers and food manufacturers interested in the advantages of using Aussie wheat for noodles, bread and cakes. Hosted by AEGIC, and featuring CBH Grain and breeding company InterGrain, the event was part of the Australian Government’s IA-CEPA* Business Connect […]

Slider