Snapshot of Western Australia's grain exports

Page last updated: Friday, 21 June 2019 - 10:29am

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The Western Australian grain industry is a major contributor to the agrifood sector and the Australian economy. The grains industry is the largest agricultural sector in WA with wheat being the dominant crop throughout the south west of the state. About 4200 grain farms, primarily family owned and operated businesses, produce on average around 14 million tonnes of grains each year. Farm sizes range from 1000-15 000 hectares. The value of WA grain exports in 2017/2018 was worth nearly $5 billion (including malt, milled oats and canola oil).

Snapshot of grains exports

  • WA produces a range of grains which are designed for specific products such as noodles, breads and baked goods, malt, beverages, oils and animal feed.
  • The main grains grown are wheat, barley, canola, lupins and oats.
  • WA’s grain exports typically represent 40% of Australia’s total grain exports and are sold into more than 30 countries throughout the world.
  • In 2017/18 the WA grains industry exported wheat worth $2.83 billion and barley worth an estimated $1 billion.
  • WA's five top markets for cereals in 2017/18 were China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea.
  • WA is the world’s major supplier of wheat for Japanese and Korean white salted (udon) noodles.
  • WA is a major producer of malting and feed barley. It is the top supplier of malting barley to China and Shochu barley to Japan and is a major supplier of feed barley to the China.
  • WA has become a significant exporter of canola with major markets in 2017/18 being Germany, Belgium, Japan, France, and the UAE.
  • WA produces high quality milling oats and is home to some of Australia’s largest processors of oat products for export.
  • WA is the major exporter of lupins accounting for over 80% of world lupin exports and is leading the development of lupins for food and feed.

Snapshot of industry

  • The grains industry in WA continues to focus on producing high quality wheat, barley, canola, oats and lupins suitable for quality discerning markets.
  • Grain production is highly mechanised, uses low agrochemical inputs and seeks efficiency through economies of scale and effective research and development to improve crop productivity, profitability and quality.
  • Strong investment in research and development is central to the success of the cereal export industry of WA. The industry receives research and development support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Australian Export Grain Innovation Centre along with CSIRO, universities and private consultants.
  • WA grain growers are some of the most innovative in Australia in terms of large scale cropping systems. Growers utilise an array of decision tools and advanced farming technology.
  • The Grower Group Alliance is a non-profit, farmer driven organisation connecting grower groups, research organisations and agribusiness. It helps growers share farming experiences and research information through extensive farmer group networks.
  • The Grain Industry Association of Western Australia was formed in 2008 to represent the interests of industry participants across the whole grain supply chain.