“Taiwan and South Korea represent growth markets in what is a very important region for Australian wheat exports, and to have representatives from key millers in those countries is a great opportunity to lay a platform for further expansion,” Mr Buck said.
“South Korea is one of the largest and most discerning noodle consuming markets in the world, and the biggest per capita consumer of instant noodles.”
“AWB has established a close relationship with its Korean customer base, and by working closely to meet their specific requirements, has developed the trade from virtually nothing twenty years ago, to about one million tonnes annually,” Mr Buck said.
AWB established a long-term research and development program in South Korea working with some of the largest noodle manufacturers in the country. This included bringing technical experts out to AWB’s grain technology facilities in Australia, and working closely with them to develop a blend of Australian varieties which would be most appropriate for their quality requirements.
Mr Buck said Taiwan was also a premium paying noodle market, importing approximately one million tonnes of wheat annually, predominately from the US.
“Noodles account for almost half of the flour end-products in Taiwan, and while Australian wheat currently does not have a major market share, it is well suited to the production of the Taiwanese type noodle,” Mr Buck said.
In 1999, AWB commenced joint technical collaborations with the major flourmill in Taiwan to get a better understanding of their import requirements. Since AWB introduced Australian Hard wheat to flourmills in 1999, the market share for Australian wheat has grown, and AWB has worked with Taiwanese millers to develop noodle products made exclusively from Australian wheat.
“After the drought last year, we are hoping to regain the growth momentum in the market, based on the supply of consistent quality Australian wheat,” Mr Buck said.
While in Australia, the delegations will visit AWB head office, Agrifood Technology, and a number of farms to see Australian wheat being harvested first hand.