AUSTRALIAN beef producers need to look beyond China and include ASEAN countries such as Vietnam in their planning.
ANZ Global Agribusiness Research head Michael Whitehead told an industry insights breakfast at Beef Australia 2015, Rockhampton, Vietnam had the same market demand drivers as China and which could become a key market for Australian beef.
“ASEAN countries have quite distinct consumer bases and we think that specific trade strategies will need to be developed to fully realise the opportunities emerging in these different markets,” Mr Whitehead said.
ANZ’s report ASEAN: The Next Horizon, forecasts half of Southeast Asia’s 650 million people will be under the age of 30 by 2030, forming a powerful emerging middle class.
But with India the main supplier of beef into the region, and an ever-present 'grey' market of US and Brazilian meat through the country into China, Mr Whitehead said Australia’s market share of agriculture imports had declined.
ANZ Agribusiness Australia boss Mark Bennett said the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community later this year could double the value of Australian agricultural exports to the region to US$15.5 billion by 2025.
“Whether in live exports or the development of cold chain processing infrastructure, there are massive opportunities for the Australian beef supply chain,” he said.
“There will be opportunities for beef producers to provide a wider range of cuts as well as different products, as the tastes of this new Asian middle class develop.
“To achieve this potential, however, Australian agribusiness will need to be aware of changing trends in consumption and adapt its output accordingly.”
Also speaking at breakfast was Graham Flynn, Glenfyne Farms, Narrandera, and Lachie Graham, Argyle Prestige Meats, Cootamundra, both having developed their own markets for branded beef overseas.
Mr Flynn said establishing the brand or product on the ground was crucial to success, and he had spent time cooking his beef in Chinese supermarkets to educate consumers.
“You have to give the customer what they want, and they are after that personal touch,” he said.