Summary of key issues
- Food consumption in Asia has increased over the past two decades. Consumption patterns have shifted from traditional diets oriented around starchy staples to more varied diets with greater quantities of higher value and higher protein foods, particularly meat and dairy products.
- In this report, a preliminary assessment is provided of the trends in food consumption and production in major Asian countries. The factors that are likely to influence the future pattern of Asian food consumption and trade are also discussed and long-term prospects for consumption and trade of a range of food based commodities are provided.
- This report builds on existing ABARES analysis of global food consumption and production to 2050, and focuses on China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the ASEAN member states.
- The ability of Asian countries to satisfy the increased demand for food out to 2050 will depend on Asia's productive capacity and trade. ABARES' preliminary projections indicate that food production in Asia will not be sufficient to meet the growth in Asian food consumption for many commodities. As a result, Asian demand for food imports is likely to increase.
- Apart from the role governments will play in reducing market barriers, the contribution from the private sector will also be important. Supermarkets and hypermarkets will have a role in facilitating trade and patterns of trade given their rising prominence in the Asian food retail sector and their well developed system of international supply networks.
- This is the first of a series of reports related to What Asia wants. ABARES continues to develop the agrifood model and is undertaking further research on the projections for Asian food demand.