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Saudi Wheat Market is Opportunity for Australia

11 March 2011

AUSTRALIA - Saudi Arabia is a growing wheat buyer and Australia has a great opportunity to access the growing market, Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) researcher Larisa Cato, writes

DAFWA researcher Larisa Cato said the Saudi Arabian wheat market was growing providing more export opportunities for Australian wheat

Saudi Arabia currently imports around two million tonnes of wheat on the international market and Cato predicts that will grow to 3mt within the next five years.

Cato said Australian wheat had a number of significant benefits to the Saudi Arabian markets compared to other countries.

"The Saudi Arabian wheat processing industry can utilise the range of Australian hard wheat export grades in relation to milling performance, balanced dough properties and major end uses of flat bread and rapid dough baking," Cato said.

"Blending studies also demonstrated scope to blend Australian wheat samples at similar or lower protein levels than Saudi wheat samples," she said. "Australian Hard (AH) and Australian Premium White (APW) from WA are very suitable for blending with Saudi Arabian wheat."

Cato researched Saudi Arabia's baking sector and found a number of Saudi wheats could be blended well with Australian wheat.

"Saudi's baking sector are accustomed to Australian wheat," she said. "In our testing, Australian wheat consistently performed better than Saudi Arabian samples."

Cato said she believed the Saudi market has the potential to be a good wheat market for Australia.

"The Saudi market opportunity provides clear signals to the Australian wheat industry for the longer term," she said. "International markets like versatile wheats that perform well in a range of products. Australian wheat will often be measured against higher protein wheat available in the international market. Achieving excellent processing properties at our protein levels become a high level industry priority. This emphasises the need for Australia to produce quality wheats to compete effectively in international markets."

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