Australia’s food exporters set to capitalize on growing demand from Asia

Image courtesy of [Sailom] \ FreeDigitalPhotos

Experts predict a bright future for the nation’s food exporters into Asia’s vast markets out to 2050 provided they closely follow the trends and demands in these countries.

Image courtesy of [Sailom] \ FreeDigitalPhotos
Image courtesy of [Sailom] \ FreeDigitalPhotos
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), which closely monitors trends and demands for food consumption in Asian countries, has released the findings brought forth by the “What Asia Wants” report, the first in series of reports under the National Food Plan.

The report published on ABC Rural states that although Asian countries will likely increase their production of many of their most essential commodities, the increase will fail to satisfy the ever growing demand for certain goods. This predicted shortage of certain commodities will provide Australia’s food exporters with a golden opportunity to capitalize on Asia’s markets.

The report emphasizes the importance of strategic planning in production, bearing in mind the projected variety of required commodities in different countries in Asia.

For instance, China, which is expected to continue its trend towards higher income and increased consumption of high-value food, will likely manage to satisfy its growing demand for vegetables, rice, fruit, pig meat, wheat and poultry meat to 2050, but will likely face a shortage for dairy products, sugar and beef, as demands for these commodities will double by the year of 2050. The report also predicts great increase in demand for sheep and goat meat, as well as for vegetable oil and coarse grains.

India, where a large chunk of the population is vegetarian, is expected to face an increase in demand for fruits and vegetables, as well as for wheat, even though it is one of the biggest producers and exporters of wheat in Asia.

On the other hand, countries such as Japan and South Korea will not experience significant increase in demand for high-value foods, due to their population’s high income and food consumption standards that are already in place. In addition, these countries face a decline in population out to 2050, which will further decrease the demand for food commodities.

The report concludes that the demand for Australia’s food commodities will steadily grow in the future in ASEAN member countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, with beef, dairy products and wheat being in highest demand.