Matching Aussie wheat with Taiwanese demand

Monday 25 May, 2015

Growing the volume and value of Australian wheat exports to Taiwan is the ultimate aim of a seminar held in Taipei last week by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) in partnership with Austrade.

More than 50 Taiwanese buyers, millers and processors were given an overview of the Australian export wheat Industry, with a focus on production and end-use as well as a snapshot of 2014-15 wheat quality.

The participants were welcomed by the Australia’s Representative in Taiwan, Ms Cathy Raper, who in her opening remarks stressed the significance of a closer business and trade relationship between Taiwan and Australia.

Ms Raper highlighted that Australia is currently the second largest supplier of wheat to Taiwan, well behind USA. Australia exported 232,000 tonnes of wheat to Taiwan during 2014 making it a significant market for Australia.

The event was also supported by the Taiwan Flour Mills Association, with attendees greeted by Chairmen, Mr Tony I-T Chen.

AEGIC’s Wheat Quality Technical Markets Manager Dr Larisa Cato conducted the seminar in partnership with Taiwan’s Austrade office on Friday May 15.

“We know Taiwan’s wheat-based food market is dynamic – there are shifting requirements for end-products which is increasing demand for wheat in the country,” Dr Cato said.

“There is particular potential to grow Australian wheat exports to Taiwan. Taiwan is a large producer and consumer of a wide range of noodles which are ideally suited to Australian wheat varieties.

“There has also been an increase in the popularity and demand of European style breads and bakery products,” Dr Cato said.

Taiwan’s population of more than 23 million consumes around 56kg of wheat flour per capita annually. There are currently about 21 flour mills in the country.

“The aim of the seminar is to help illustrate the versatility and quality of Australian wheat to the Taiwanese processing industry.”

Dr Cato was joined by Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) Chief Executive Officer Dr Steve Jefferies who provided an overview of Australia’s wheat breeding programs and spoke about new varieties suitable for Taiwanese end-uses. All seminar attendees were given a copy of the recently released Australian Wheat Quality Report, a joint initiative between AEGIC and Grain Growers Limited.

Taiwan imports about 1.3 million metric tonne of wheat per year and is almost completely dependent on imports. During 2014, Australia made up about 18% of Taiwan’s total wheat imports. The remainder is filled by the United States.