SENIOR representatives from some of China’s largest corporations will see Australia’s grain growing capabilities first-hand when they visit Australia this week.
The delegation reflects China’s interest in sourcing more Australian products such as wheat, sorghum, corn, rice and malting barley.
Interest is expected to grow with tariffs set to fall on barley, grain sorghum, a range of grain-derived starches and wheat gluten as a result of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
Austrade Trade Commissioner, Jeff Turner, said the visit would allow Australian producers to explore long-term trade and investment opportunities with key members of the world’s largest grains market.
“China is the world’s biggest consumer of grains, and also a very big producer of many products that rely on grains and pulses as an input, such as beer,” Mr Turner said.
“The government is relaxing staple food grain self-sufficiency targets to focus on greater production of value-added crops and livestock.
“With the anticipated easing of tariffs on certain Australian grain imports and related products under ChAFTA, this is an ideal time for our industry to meet with Chinese buyers to understand future needs and investment opportunities.”
The delegation comprised of buyers and technical specialists from major Chinese corporations such as COFCO, will attend Sydney’s Fine Food Expo and the 17th Barley Technical Symposium.
A seven-member team from leading Chinese brewery Tsingtao is part of the group. Australian barley is already used to produce Tsingtao’s world-famous beer.
The group will meet farmers, processors and traders and will tour growing regions and facilities in Western Australia.
The Austrade organised visit is in collaboration with major industry bodies including GrainCorp, the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC), the Australian Grains Industry Conference, Grain Trade Australia, Australian Oilseed Federation and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.
“Australian grains attract a premium price in China thanks to strengths like our clean and green growing environment, state-of-the-art farming systems, and ability to tailor grain products to specific end-user purposes,” Mr Turner said.
“We have a strong reputation for reliability and quality, and there has never been a better time to take our already very good long-term cooperation to the next level.”