Markets

Australia exports 627,353t barley, 100,734t sorghum in March

Liz Wells, May 13, 2024

A crop of sorghum ahead of desiccation in late March at Narromine in central NSW. Photo: Pioneer Seeds – Australia

AUSTRALIA exported 627,353 tonnes of barley and 100,734t of sorghum in March, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Feed barley exports at 390,828t were down from 415,454t shipped in February, with China on 384,651t the destination for 98pc of the March volume.

Malting barley exports at 237,055t more than doubled over the month from 117,338t shipped in February.

China was also the major destination for malting barley exports on 185,299t, followed by Vietnam on 21,768t and Peru on 19,800t.

Sorghum volume also surged, almost doubling from 50,766t shipped in February, with China on 92,224t the biggest market, followed by Taiwan on 6850t and The Philippines on 1569t.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said March barley exports delivered the expected recovery from the smaller February numbers, which were low due to Chinese New Year holidays and associated shutdowns.

“Malting barley shipments were high within this, as was the Chinese percentage of exports, which moved above 90pc for the first time in a few months.”

Mr Roache said exports of malting barley to South America, and also Vietnam, are expected to continue to October.

Total malting and feed barley shipments over April and May are tipped to continue at pace.

“We see strong shipments for April, with 600,000t plus; May will be lower, but still 400,000-500,000t.”

“Stems today show us more than 90pc of our expected exports for the season, so it is very much expected that volumes drop as we run the barley stocks down to an expected record low carry-out Australia wide.”

Mr Roache said Chinese demand for March shipment was again above market expectations.

“We are seeing a complete clean-out of barley from Australia, France and Ukraine.

“Barley is becoming hard for the Chinese to buy across all their supply countries, with France too wet and the crop looking poor, Ukraine dry and frost affected, and Canada way too early to sell.

“Australian production, especially for barley-heavy barley areas, isn’t looking great today either.

“Just as we are getting very tight on barley, we see wheat moving higher, and barley begin to calculate into unexpected secondary destinations, while also remaining cheap locally into feed homes.

“There remains a lot to play out in barley markets.”

On sorghum, Mr Roache said the unusually low volume reflected considerable weather delays and lack of certainly around quality rather than the lack of will to buy.

“With the continuing weather, we still see sorghum limping on the export front, while pricing fairly well into domestic rations for the first time in a long time.”

Mr Roache said US sorghum has become more expensive, and Australia remains a good option price- wise for the Chinese buyer.

“The further move higher in corn and US wheat last week will only amplify this, so when the market makes sense, the export demand will be there; so will the logistics and shipping space.”

FEED Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Tonnes
Bahrain 84 22 0 0 106
China 1707083 509513 308259 384651 2909506
Hong Kong 24 12 0 12 48
Indonesia 0 0 0 247 247
Japan 280211 90990 100296 700 472198
Macau 0 0 2 0 2
Malaysia 677 177 0 181 1035
New Caledonia 911 472 375 362 2120
Papua New Guinea 22 50 25 0 97
Philippines 64448 755 1170 528 66901
South Korea 2751 558 927 819 5055
Taiwan 3594 1438 756 795 6582
Thailand 4301 1237 2172 760 8469
Vietnam 12290 3992 1472 1773 19527
TOTAL 2076396 609217 415454 390828 3491895

Table 1: Australian feed barley exports from October 2023 to March 2024. Source: ABS

MALTING Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar Tonnes
China 802314 212431 110659 185299 1310702
Ecuador 6850 6301 0 6500 19651
Indonesia 20 0 0 0 20
Japan 19595 0 0 0 19595
Mexico 64500 60900 0 0 125400
Peru 23950 17000 0 19800 60750
Philippines 2419 709 669 1100 4897
Saudi Arabia 21 0 0 0 21
Singapore 9469 2851 4087 1612 18019
South Africa 47250 0 0 0 47250
South Korea 0 12600 0 0 12600
Taiwan 0 0 0 496 496
Thailand 1075 0 1113 480 2668
Vietnam 37757 3250 811 21768 63586
TOTAL 1015220 316041 117338 237055 1685655

Table 2: Australian malting barley exports from October 2023 to March 2024. Source: ABS

SORGHUM Oct-Dec Jan Feb Mar  Tonnes
Bahrain 24 24 48
China 91142 111185 20463 92224 315014
Japan 85 0 24603 41 24728
Philippines 3303 1404 1822 1569 8098
South Korea 235 48 282
Taiwan 5694 2022 3757 6850 18322
Vietnam 0 50 50 50 150
TOTAL 100483 114661 50766 100734 366643

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports from October 2023 to March 2024. Source: ABS

HAVE YOUR SAY

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.

Comments

Get Grain Central's news headlines emailed to you -
FREE!