Australia and China: Together in wheat

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of wheat.

But while China is approaching self-sufficiency, it is still a good market for Australian wheat, according to Ken Quail of BRI Australia.

"An increasing demand for higher-quality food products, the anticipated reduction in wheat plantings due to China joining the World Trade Organisation and to transportation issues create opportunities for Australia," said Dr Quail.

A GRDC-led mission of Australian scientists travelled to China last November to discuss exchanges of germplasm and the potential to work together on wheat quality. Dr Quail is now working on a plan for collaboration between the GRDC and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science to study the wheat requirements of China.

"It is recognised that consumer patterns in China are changing rapidly and that their food manufacturing industry is going through massive restructuring. By working with the Chinese through this period of rapid change, we can better identify opportunities for Australian wheat," said Dr Quail.

"The project will include the training of Chinese scientists to enhance their recognition and understanding of wheat quality. It will also include a comprehensive survey of wheat consumption throughout China. The aim of the survey is to identify future trends and to match their wheat quality requirements with Australia's production."

Program 1.1.1 Contact: Dr Ken Quail 02 9888 9600, Dr Paul Brennan 02 6687 5288