Dr Quail, AustralianExport Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) general manager research and services, said there was more money to be made in growing wheat for bread rather than noodles.
"There are certainly opportunities in the bread market in Asia, which is the higher value segment of the market, and it's also growing at a significant rate," he said.
"But it's also a bit harder for us to do that. We need protein in our wheat and we probably need some new varieties.
"So that is going to be more challenging, but it's something that Australia really needs to look at it and make sure we have given it our best bet if we want to be part of that higher growth."
Australian wheat perfect for noodles
Dr Quail said South East Asia had a preference for Australian premium white and Australian hard wheat due to the suitability for noodle production.
"Noodles are a staple of their diet, and the quality of Australian wheat suits the production of noodles perfectly," he said.
AEGIC conducted a study to quantify and understand the attributes of what drove South East Asia's noodle preference.
"It's all about the colour of the noodles, what we call the colour stability, and that's how long the noodles hold their colour for," Dr Quail said.
"It's also about the texture and bite of the noodles.
"So it's all about whether our wheat will be transferred into flour that will make good quality noodles for their consumers."
Dr Quail said it ultimately came down to the varieties available to Australian growers.
"We are doing extremely well, but we are going to have to do better if we are going to continue to retain our share of value in Asia," he said.
"We are getting a lot of competition from the Black Sea, Ukraine and Russia.
"There is always going to be pressure on prices, and one thing that we really want to look at is there is one thing to have share of volume, but it should be about share of value.
"Because once we have produced our grain, every dollar extra we can get per tonne effectively goes to the bottom line.
"It's about making sure when they are buying our wheat they are buying them because of the value they present for their food manufacturing systems, and so they are prepared to pay a price differential to the lowest pricewheats from some of our competitors."
Growing better grain
Dr Quail said AEGIC recommendations fell to the Grains Research Development Corporation, wheat breeders, wheat classification system and to graintraders to ensure Australia defended its share of the noodle market.
"It's where we have a natural advantage and we want to make sure we are getting the best value from that," he said.
"We also need to explore opportunities to be part of the higher value bread-making market."
Dr Quail said there was also a new opportunity to supply soft wheat for biscuit and cake manufacturing in South East Asia, something Australia was not yet part of.
He said North American wheat with quality suited to baking commanded a premium ranging from $US5 to $US100 per tonne, compared to Australian wheat.
On farm, Dr Quail said growers should be using up to date varieties that would produce good yields and be of high quality.
"We need to make sure that we're getting protein achievement in our grain that reflects that we are maximising yield," he said.