Chinese target SA's clean grain and diverse production

By / 1st of August, 2014

CHINESE flour millers, grain importers and livestock producers are scouring South Australia this week to establish strong links between farmgate production and end-user operations in the world’s biggest market.

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) grains account manager Dave Lewis says while more than 40 Chinese businesspeople are crisscrossing Australia this week, the 17 people in South Australia have specific targets.

Lewis says they are in the state’s Southern Mallee today where they are looking to build direct export relationships from the paddock to China.

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“Some of the Chinese on this trip are already doing work in South Australia and now want to build on that,” Lewis says.

“And the livestock producers in the party are turning to us for high-quality, non-GM feed grain because they are now finding it hard to source in other global markets, particularly barley,” he says.

The delegation will also visit to inspect Viterra’s state-of-the-art export facilities in Outer Harbor, north of Adelaide. They will then head inland to Bowman where they will meet with hay exporters and pulse producers.

Lewis says although wheat and barley are high on the Chinese shopping list, they are also taking a lot of interest in SA’s beans and pulse production for the growing domestic demand in China.

“Some of the delegates here are from state-owned enterprises but most are in the private sector and they are looking for long-term deals with secure, clean and green product,” Lewis says.

The delegation has joined representatives from AusTrade and PIRSA for a total of four days.

Acting Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Gail Gago said the Chinese trade mission will showcase how the State’s research, government and industry sectors work together to produce high-quality Australian grains products for the world market.

“The grains sector is the most significant agriculture sector in South Australia, where we’ve had about 1 per cent annual increase in grain yields during the past 30 years,” she said.

“The visit to producers in Bordertown, Keith and the Southern Mallee region will raise awareness about the trade and investment opportunities our grain sector has to offer to China.”