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Grain Central briefs: Saudi buys more barley | Turkey cuts chickpea tariffs | Pakistan pulse import crash + more

by Grain Central, 20 March 2017

Saudi to buy another 1.5 million tonnes of barley

Saudi Arabia has returned to the marketplace to buy barley.

Trade sources report that the Saudi buying agency has requested offers of up to 1.5 million tonnes of barley for May/June.

This quantity is in line with recent years’ consumption and import volume for Saudi Arabia, i.e 8-8.5Mt approx per annum.  It would be reasonable to anticipate that Australian feed barley will remain competitive on this occasion, as it was for the previous tender in February 2017, our previous report link here.

The quality parameters required by the Saudi buyer are 62 kilograms/hectolitre test weight, maximum 14pc moisture, and otherwise typically within specification readily met by Australian feed barley standard.

 

Turkey suspends chickpea import tariff until July 1

High domestic prices have prompted the Turkish Government to cut its import tariff on chickpeas from 19.3 per cent to zero, effective March 8 to July 1, 2017.

This is in response to Turkey’s domestic chickpea price doubling in a year because low yields from its own chickpea crops, a rising world chickpea price, and depreciation of the Turkish currency.

Chickpeas are widely used in Turkish cuisine, and the country’s annual chickpea production ranges between 400,000 MT and 500,000 MT; in addition, Turkey imports about 30,000-40,000 MT of chickpeas every year.

Turkey annually also exports roughly 20,000 MT of chickpeas, mostly to Middle Eastern and European countries.

According to exporter reports, roughly 200,000 MT of chickpeas are trans-shipped through Turkey each year.

Source USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Grain Central notes: The chickpea trade in Turkey focuses on Kabuli-type chickpea; Australian trade is predominantly desi-type chickpea.  According to Pulse Australia, Australia produces around 90pc desi-type and 10pc Kabuli-type.  

 

Pakistan trade calls for deferral of pulse shipments

A trade association in Pakistan has written to Australian and Canadian pulse exporters requesting that suppliers delay shipment to the Port of Karachi.

The letter reports the local market in Pakistan has crashed for all pulse products, including Australian desi-type chickpeas and lentils from Canada and Australia.

The letter also states:

  • If strict action is not taken to revive the Pakistan pulse market, we might see major defaults in the market as currently the market is coming down fast. It is time to support the importers by pushing the shipments and slowing down the cargo arrival, as they supported the exporters during the logistics problems from Australia in October November 2016 by allowing shipment extension.
  • Importers require 28 days’ detention-free time at destination from the shipping lines.  More speedy cargo clearance, one effect of new plant protection rules, had led to greater imposition of charges upon buyers, such as demurrage and detention costs.

An Australian pulses trader told Grain Central the letter had caused contracts with Pakistani buyers for April shipment to be washed out, and generate serious concern about the likelihood of payment for parcels already shipped.

Source:Pakistan Pulses Indentors Association 

A ‘listening’ approach to China’s food security

Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) participants, Profarmer’s Hannah Janson and Ron Storey, returning last week from the AGIC Asia conferences in Vietnam and China, reported a shift in the modus operandi of China’s central government in future food policy.

“The importance of food security remains unchanged but how China achieves this is changing; a considered shift from self-sufficiency and high local stocks to more of a market model to import as required from reliable supply sources,” Mr Storey said in a statement.

“Maintaining reliable and safe food supply for 1.3 billion people in an environment of declining arable land caused by increased urbanisation, declining water supply and challenging environmental conditions is always on the agenda for the ruling Chinese Communist Party.”

“Factors such as food quality, healthy diets, nutrition and food safety are becoming more important.”

The Chinese government had sought to avoid the worst effects on China’s population of the creeping impact of western diets, such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.

“Knowing and understanding the crops and foods which China and Vietnam are more likely to import will be just as important as growing the crops here.”

Conference participants heard, for example, that Vietnam’s national dish, Bahn Mi, is reportedly made using 90pc Australian wheat flour.

AGIC Asia 2017 conferences in Ho Chi Minh City and Shanghai were hosted by Grain Trade Australia, Pulse Australia and Australian Oilseeds Federation, and attended by 140 and 180 delegates respectively.

Source: Profarmer Australia

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