AUSTRALIA exported 116,797 tonnes of chickpeas and 99,287t of lentils in February, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The chickpea figure is up 64 per cent from the 71,337t shipped in January, while the lentil figure is down 26pc from the 135,079t shipped in January.
The drop in lentil shipments reflects the dominance of wheat, barley and canola in February at Victorian and South Australian ports, while the elevated chickpea number demonstrates the ability of bulk shipments to slot into Central Queensland shipping schedules.
On chiekpeas, Bangladesh was the biggest market by far with 81,389t, followed by Pakistan on 23,180t and Nepal on 4496t.
On 38,691t, Bangladesh was also the biggest market for lentils, and arrivals of both chickpeas and lentils were the last bulk deliveries which could be shipped with confidence to arrive and clear customs prior to the Ramadan festival which started April 2.
Turkey was the surprise bulk entrant for the lentil market, and on 19,500t was the second-biggest for Australian in February.
The United Arab Emirates on 14,915t and Egypt on 12,500t were also bulk lentil customers in February.
Turkey, which is a major importer and re-exporter of lentils, has bought bulk Australian product before, but this February shipment is believed to be the first from the current crop.
Table 1: Australian chickpea exports for December 2021 and January and February 2022. Source: ABS
Table 2: Australian lentil exports for December 2021 and January and February 2022. Source: ABS
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