Beer, baby and dairy: Australia’s top food export future

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Beer, baby and dairy: Australia’s top food export future

Related tags Baby food Australia Milk Economy of australia

Food is expected to be one of Australia’s top five exports in the next decade, at a time when Asian markets are expected to remain the top export destinations for the country, a new report from research firm IBISWorld has said. 

Australia is expected to generate A$317.6bn in export revenue in 2013-14, rising as a percentage of GDP over the past decade, the report said.

Karen Dobie, IBISWorld’s general manager in Australia, said that macroeconomic factors are tipped to favour exporters over the next five years, particularly as a result of growing demand from Asian trading partners.

According to Dobie, Australian exports will become increasingly price competitive as the value of the Australian dollar softens against the currencies of country’s major trading partners.

Baby and dairy

Australia’s high food standards and quality ingredients are the driving forces behind export growth in emerging markets, the report said, and predicted that sub-sectors such including baby food and dairy will shine in the next five years.

“Revenue for Australia’s baby food manufacturing industry is forecast to grow by 2.9% per year over the next five years to reach A$206.7m, while revenue for dairy product manufacturers is forecast to grow by 2.1% to reach A$12.8bn,​” said Dobie.

Exports are playing a key role in driving growth in both of these sectors. Baby food exports are anticipated to rise by 6.5% per year to A$22.5m by 2018-19, while dairy product exports are expected to rise by 5.2% per year, with milk powder and cheese exports performing particularly well​.”

Key markets driving growth include China and India, which are exhibiting growing demand for a greater variety of high-quality products.

“Population growth and increasing wealth in the growing middle-classes of Asian trading partners has made these products more accessible to a wider market,”​ the report said.

Beer up!

The report also predicted that Australian beer manufacturers will place an increased focus on new export markets in the Asia-Pacific region over the coming five years, as domestic consumption of traditional beer products continues to fall as Australians opt for alternative beverages such as craft beer, cider and wine.

“Exports as a share of total industry revenue are expected to grow from 0.8% in 2008-09 to 1.4% by 2018-19, assisting to boost overall industry growth from a sluggish 0.9% per year over the past five years, to 1.7% per year in the next five years”, ​said Dobie.

In 2013-14, the report said, the beer manufacturing industry revenue will be $4.7bn billion, and this is forecast to rise to $5.1bn by 2018-19.

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