Export

Australia ships 763,733 tonnes bulk wheat in February

Liz Wells, April 10, 2018

AUSTRALIA exported 763,733 tonnes of bulk wheat in February, with South Korea on 90,265t and The Philippines with 85,595t its biggest markets, according to the latest shipping figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The February figure was down from the 989,563t shipped in January, and reflects the reduced export surpluses from Queensland and New South Wales, where a tough growing season impacted on area and yields.

Market Check’s Andrew Retallick said the smaller number was not unexpected, given current supply-and-demand figures, especially on the east coast, where they are at their tightest in more than a decade.

“East-coast wheat stocks-to-use ratios are sitting at a touch over 10 per cent versus the five-year average of 20pc,” Mr Retallick said.

“Domestic markets are working to keep stocks from being exported and leaving domestic consumers and end-users short.

Australia’s new-crop wheat exports started in October, and up to the end of February were sitting at 5 million tonnes (Mt), 70pc of the five-year average for this period.

“The 2017/18 wheat export target for Australia is 14.1Mt, but this is below the USDA forecast.”

“Indonesia, our main destination, only took 81,000t in February in containerised and bulk exports, which was significantly down from both December and January figures.

“While February export figures declined on January, there are signs of increasing demand for Australian wheat picking up in coming months, particularly from India; to reach 14.1Mt, it will need to.”

Victoria and South Australia are sitting above the five-year average, given their stronger-than-usual October-November export programs.

“Overall, all states are on track to meet their export forecast, apart from Western Australia, which is lagging significantly.

“The WA wheat export target is 6.5Mt, with 2Mt currently exported. This is 60pc of the Oct-Feb five-year average.”

Mr Retallick said current strength in the domestic market was coming from ongoing snow cover in the northern plains of the US cropping belt, and continuing dry conditions across much of Australia.

Table 1: ABS export statistics for December 2017, revised January 2018 figures, and latest data for February 2018.

BULK WHEAT Dec Jan Feb Tonnes
Bahrain 0 27500 0 27500
Bangladesh 51977 0 0 51977
China 760783 0 61579 822362
Egypt 0 0 23905 23905
Fiji 13510 0 0 13510
India 33000 0 30780 63780
Indonesia 299551 217690 70250 587491
Iraq 0 52500 27000 79500
Japan 80547 161893 27127 269567
Kenya 43641 0 0 43641
Kuwait 33000 45370 43572 121942
Malaysia 47300 90500 19286 157086
New Zealand 23178 45939 0 69117
Nigeria 44000 0 50500 94500
Oman 0 0 21999 21999
Papua New Guinea 17600 22000 0 39600
Philippines 50269 71456 85595 207320
Qatar 0 0 20881 20881
Singapore 26290 9920 0 36210
South Korea 132300 120235 90265 342800
Sri Lanka 20584 0 0 20584
Thailand 115088 0 34913 150001
UAE 0 34300 31986 66286
Viet Nam 86764 60010 65955 212729
Yemen 54233 30250 58140 142623
TOTAL 1933615 989563 763733 3686911

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