Markets

Aus March barley exports drop 11pc, sorghum up 110pc

Liz Wells, May 13, 2022

A cargo of malting barley loads at Viterra’s Port Lincoln terminal in South Australia. Photo: Viterra

AUSTRALIA exported 738,559 tonnes of barley and 136,816t of sorghum in March, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Despite a lift in malting barley exports to 121,862t in March, the overall barley figure is down 11 per cent from 831,135t shipped in February due to reduced feed exports.

Cargoes to Vietnam, Mexico, Peru and Japan made up the bulk of the March malting figure, while on feed barley, Saudi Arabia on 412,175t accounted for almost half the reported tonnage.

Based on trade information, February shipments of barley to Canada and The Netherlands reported by ABS as feed have been transferred to malting.

On sorghum, China accounted for 97pc of March exports, which were up 110pc on February.

Bumper month for Saudi

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said the drop over the month in feed barley shipments of around 100,000t has mostly come from reduced sales to Japan and Jordan.

“They were both coming off very large Jan-Feb purchases.

“The Philippines was also notably lower, with the drop in barley imports expected and due to the large and cheaper relative feed wheat available from Australia.

“We expect Japan and Jordan to re-emerge and The Philippines, along with Thailand and Vietnam, to decline to minimal barley use and imports.”

On the other side of the ledger, March was a bumper month for feed barley exports to Saudi Arabia.

“Competition from the Black Sea really dropped away, and the task was completely left to Australia.

“We expect Australia’s dominance into Saudi to continue.

“Another notable is Iran, where we see our second cargo in 12 months, in line with long reported business.”

Overall export pace of feed barley is seen as strong, and Mr Roache estimates Australia is around halfway through its expected export program for 2021-22 (Oct-Sep).

“Global prices are higher straight out to new crop, and export margins are excellent.

“Demand for Australian barley remains good, with sales on all the way out to October already.

“We expect the program to remain strong right through to next harvest.”

Western Australia and New South Wales are carrying feed barley stocks, and are expected to export in this shipping year’s latter months.

“Victoria and South Australia are already tight, and should slow down quickly on exports post June-July.”

Malting exports steady

March malting barley exports were up slightly from February.

“Sales to the usual Japanese, Peruvian and Vietnamese homes saw a strong month.

“The unusual Canadian and Netherlands shipments we saw in February have not repeated, and could be a one-off due to the Canadian drought and quality problems, and the French malting shortage driven by Chinese demand.

“Malting premiums remain good and demand is there.

“Malting is tight in most zones and, like feed, should have a very good demand profile straight out to next harvest.”

New-crop sorghum arrives

Sorghum volumes ramped up in March as expected, with more harvest equalling more exports, and the Central Queensland (CQ) harvest to support later months.

“We should see April and May exports strong, and expect growth right through April to July as CQ production comes on line.”

Demand from China looks solid.

“We will likely add Japan as an export buyer further into the program too.

“We are seeing some new export capacity added in Brisbane, which is excellent for the market, and should allow traders and growers to capitalise on the excellent demand and export margins for all products.”

MALTING Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Jan-Mar Oct-Mar
Canada* 0 0 33000 0 33000 33000
Ecuador 0 0 0 6000 6000 6000
Ethiopia 50776 0 0 0 0 50776
Indonesia 510 0 0 0 0 510
Japan 1500 750 250 20000 21000 22500
Mexico 33000 33000 30299 33000 96299 129299
Netherlands* 0 0 41749 0 41749 41749
Peru 19436 0 0 21500 21500 40936
Philippines 1067 220 1744 1371 3335 4402
Singapore 7442 2392 3471 5616 11479 18921
Thailand 2882 3704 2040 285 6029 8911
Vietnam 1876 33381 423 34090 67894 69770
TOTAL 118489 73447 112976 121862 308285 426774

Table 1: Australian malting barley exports from October 2021 to March 2022. * Figures appear in ABS data as feed barley. Source: ABS and trade

FEED Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Jan-Mar Oct-Mar
Ecuador 7100 0 0 0 0 7100
Hong Kong 12 12 0 0 12 24
India 435 495 0 0 495 930
Iran 0 0 0 33533 33533 33533
Japan 137715 0 169828 0 169828 307543
Jordan 0 126000 134000 63000 323000 323000
Kuwait 40500 40500 45484 33000 118984 159484
Macau 1 0 0 0 0 1
Malaysia 529 0 224 1218 1442 1971
Myanmar 0 0 242 0 242 242
New Caledonia 799 192 194 86 472 1271
New Zealand 0 5000 0 0 5000 5000
Oman 10000 0 0 0 0 10000
Papua New Guinea 200 0 25 0 25 225
Philippines 162342 11258 117099 22540 150897 313239
Qatar 50000 57000 0 19800 76800 126800
Saudi Arabia 452189 229105 192000 412175 833280 1285469
Singapore 799 608 0 596 1204 2003
South Korea 1405 872 1445 400 2717 4122
Spain 4 0 0 0 0 4
Taiwan 5464 4757 5033 3666 13456 18920
Thailand 0 0 22421 9772 32193 32193
UAE 29930 57829 19950 8000 85779 115709
Vietnam 62484 12328 10214 8911 31453 93937
TOTAL 961908 545956 718159 616697 1880812 2842720

Table 2: Australian feed barley exports from October 2021 to March 2022. Based on trade information, Feb shipments to Canada and The Netherlands have been transferred to feed. Source: ABS and trade

SORGHUM Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Jan-Mar Oct-Mar
China 342329 21957 62564 132616 217137 559466
Japan 44190 64 73 573 710 44900
Malaysia 24 0 0 0 0 24
Philippines 3118 1480 1422 2043 4945 8063
South Korea 48 0 0 86 86 134
Taiwan 5504 393 925 1448 2766 8270
Vietnam 0 0 0 50 50 50
TOTAL 395213 23894 64984 136816 225694 620907

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports from October 2021 to March 2022. Source: ABS

 

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