Aus Nov sorghum, malting exports surge, feed barley dips

Liz Wells January 19, 2024


A barley crop at Lubeck is estimated to yield 7.7t/ha. Photo: Dale Boyd, Agriculture Victoria

AUSTRALIA exported 907,324 tonnes of barley and 54,609t of sorghum in November, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

November feed barley exports totaled 526,345t, down 26 percent from 712,335t shipped in October, with China on 439,708t the biggest market by far, followed by Japan on 76,757t and Vietnam on 4172t.

Malting exports for November on 380,979t were up 79pc from 213,279t shipped in October.

Again, China was the largest market by far, taking 280,924t, with Mexico and South Africa tied for second place by volume on 31,500t, and Peru taking 23,950t.

On sorghum, China was the destination for 50,290t of November-shipped sorghum, 92pc of the 54,609t total for the month, with Taiwan on 2083t and The Philippines on 1959t the second and third-biggest destinations.

November sorghum exports were up 38pc from 39,547t shipped in October.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said barley volumes continued to impress.

“China accounted for over 60pc of the feed and 70pc of the malt and we should continue to see this percentage increase as older business to other destinations is executed,” Mr Roache said.

“We expect December volumes to grow again and crack the magic 1-million-tonne mark, with January stems looking similar, and plenty of business on the books for February.

“Demand continues to be strong for Australian barley, both feed and FAQ malt, the latter of which still commands a reasonable premium at destination.”

Mr Roache said Australia remains on track to be 80pc plus through its annual export program by the end of February, which is unrivalled pace historically.

“Western Australia is driving the amazing pace and will need to slow down sales considerably into March-April as they run out of stocks.

“This will leave the majority of the demand to Victoria and  to a lesser extend South Australia, with Victoria being a slow starter on the export front.”

Mr Roache said the Australian dollar rally into the New Year has pushed down local values, as has pressure from Argentinian sellers dragging on Chinese values to the lower end of the recent range.

“From a demand standpoint, the reversal in drought conditions in New South Wales and Queensland is a very important dynamic for barley, with paddock-feeding dropping right off and rebounding cattle prices challenging feedlot calculations.

“With similar effect, the supply side is more comfortable, with excellent moisture received over the December-January period from Ceduna to Rockhampton.”

Mr Roache said sorghum demand remains robust from China, but exports remain limited by old-crop stocks.

“This will remain the case for another month or so, when we will see volumes tick higher.

“Looking forward, we are seeing excellent conditions for new-crop, and expect a big crop to translate into a large export program.

“China will continue to dominate this market as it has for many years.”

Bahrain 0 41 43 84
China 158539 539851 439708 1138098
Hong Kong 0 12 12 24
Japan 62558 99597 76757 238912
Malaysia 1 171 162 334
New Caledonia 189 205 295 689
New Zealand 4950 0 0 4950
Papua New Guinea 0 0 22 22
Philippines 55498 62621 548 118667
South Korea 22729 437 1607 24773
Taiwan 4053 1033 1366 6452
Thailand 32551 1574 1653 35777
Vietnam 1217 6794 4172 12182
TOTAL 342284 712335 526345 1580964

Table 1: Australian feed barley exports for September, October and November 2023. Source: ABS

China 212877 123878 280924 617679
Ecuador 7700 0 6850 14550
Indonesia 0 0 20 20
Japan 0 20 0 20
Mexico 33000 33000 31500 97500
Peru 25000 0 23950 48950
Philippines 1698 1000 806 3503
Saudi Arabia 0 21 0 21
Singapore 2351 3725 2885 8961
South Africa 16500 15750 31500 63750
Thailand 527 553 522 1603
Vietnam 2157 35332 2022 39511
TOTAL 301810 213279 380979 896067

Table 2: Australian malting barley exports for September, October and November 2023. Source: ABS

Bahrain 0 24 0 24
China 255330 37433 50290 343053
Japan 10937 42 43 11022
Philippines 1666 1442 1959 5067
South Korea 0 0 235 235
Taiwan 3651 606 2083 6340
TOTAL 271583 39547 54609 365739

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for September, October and November 2023. Source: ABS


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