Presently, wheat is the big-ticket item in Australia’s exports to Indonesia, accounting for $A1.4bn of the total $A7bn. While it is likely that wheat will be a mainstay of agricultural exports well into the future, there are more food market opportunities for other Australian supplies, such as fruit and vegetables.
More beef, more dairy, more fruit and vegetables and more processed foods are on Indonesian shopping lists as diets change from rice and other cereal staples to a richer and more varied mix.
By 2030, Indonesia will have between 280 million and 300 million people (65 per cent of them working age) and is likely to be the world’s seventh largest economy. Rises in per capita income will see Indonesia’s consuming class more than triple from 45 million 2012 to 135 million in 2030, according to McKinsey research.
In November last year, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) released its What Indonesia Wants report, detailing how it sees the Indonesia food market developing over the next 35 years.
It says that Indonesia will sharply increase its own production of beef, poultry, starchy staples, vegetables and fruit, but even so will rely increasingly on food imports — in part because its transport and logistics systems are not efficient enough. The ABARES report says that assuming no major policy changes to 2050, the value of food imports will rise 20 times from 2009, reaching $US152bn (in 2009 dollars) in 2050.
The value of fruit imports will grow sharply to $US25bn, while vegetable imports will reach $US11bn.
ABARES says Australia is well placed geographically and strategically to benefit from Indonesia’s market potential.