Media Release

Dishing up what Asia wants

10 October 2013

By tapping into niche markets and focusing on high-quality produce, Australian food producers can plan their efforts around agricultural exports — and literally dish up what Asia wants.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, released the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report What Asia Wants: Long–term food consumption trends in Asia today at the Darwin ABARES Regional Outlook Conference.

The report found Asian food consumption is expected to increase significantly to 2050, driven by larger populations, higher incomes and bigger cities.

“This report helps Australian food producers and exporters identify opportunities in the marketplace. It provides trends and forecasts that we can use to plan our efforts to increase agricultural exports,” Minister Joyce said.

“For Australian farmers to capitalise on these opportunities, the Australian Government needs to reduce market barriers and commit to comprehensive free trade agreements that bring a fair return to the farm gate. This is a priority for the Australian Government.

“In Asia there’s been a shift from traditional diets oriented around starchy staples to more varied diets with higher protein foods, particularly meat and dairy products,” Minister Joyce said.

In China, import demands are expected to rise for coarse grains, sugar, beef, sheep and goat meat, dairy products and vegetable oil.

As a largely vegetarian nation that relies on dairy as a source of protein, dairy imports in India are projected to increase to US$13 billion by 2050. India is also projected to become a significant net importer of vegetables and fruit with US$14 billion imports by 2050.

In the ASEAN member states vegetable and fruit consumption is projected to more than double by 2050, with net imports increasing to US$8 billion in the region. By 2050, beef consumption in ASEAN member states is projected to be 120 per cent higher than in 2007, with imports expected to expand by US$3 billion over this period.

What Asia wants is available on the Department of Agriculture website.