Australia exports 696,540t April barley, 149,744t sorghum

Liz Wells June 17, 2024

AUSTRALIA exported 696,540 tonnes of barley and 149,744t of sorghum in April, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Feed barley exports for the month totalled 317,836t, down 19 percent from the 390,828t shipped in March.

China on 236,881t was the biggest buyer of April-shipped feed barley, followed by Japan on 72,989t and Thailand on 2852t.

Malting volumes at 378,704t surprised in April be exceeding the feed barley figure, and by surging 61pc from the 235,887t shipped in March.

China on 240,274t was the biggest market for malting exports, with The Netherlands making a rare appearance in second place with a 69,995t cargo, and Mexico on 33,000t in third place.

Continuing the trend, China on 146,041t was the destination for almost all April sorghum exports, with Taiwan on 2215t in second place, and The Philippines on 1296t in third.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said China has been the most active current buyer in the July-August period on new business as Australia’s barley stocks run down to record tight levels.

“While China remains the dominant buyer, their export share does remain a little below expectations, meaning that Australia is continuing to hold on to a more diverse range of buyers that we have serviced during the tariff period,” Mr Roache said.

“This is good news and includes some important malting destinations in South and Central America and even Europe.

“This is a great pointer to Australia’s competitive relative value to other important exporters, especially France.”

Mr Roache said Australia’s malting exports in April  seem higher than expected.

“The majority of this is destined for China, where malting can mean proper Malt 1 or FAQ cargoes, which is just a higher-specification mix variety feed cargo in reality.

“With this in mind, I don’t think there is a big takeaway from the higher malting percentage in the figures.”

Dry sparks local demand

Mr Roache said shipping stems indicate Australia’s barley exports in May and June are expected to total 400,000-600,000t per month.

“We will then see a sharp drop as stocks literally run dry, especially as drought feeding continues in western Victoria, South Australia and parts of Western Australia.

“We are continuing to see very strong values in excess of international markets paid for well-located feed barley stocks, but the market is yet to really rocket higher.

“The market will be prone to squeezes.”

In districts of Australia where barley stocks are low and demand is high, localised rallies could well see barley price itself out of both export and domestic markets.

“The slump of wheat values with some local selling and falling futures markets has weighed on barley in the old and new-crop space; the relativity to wheat is important.”

Mr Roache said Australian barley remains very competitive into China’s malting and FAQ demand in the current and new-crop.

, but also lack of liquidity where there are very low stocks and an export program is lacking.”

CQ sorghum coming

On sorghum, Mr Roache said volumes are expected to pick up as the export program continues in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, and Central Queensland comes on line over the next month or so.

“Australian sorghum has been well priced versus US, but harvest and selling here came at a time when the China market was a little bit quiet and oversupplied.

“We should see continued buying from China, with diminishing competition from US over the next few months.”

FEED Feb Mar Apr Tonnes
China 307328 384651 236881 928860
Hong Kong 0 12 0 12
Indonesia 0 247 0 247
Japan 100296 700 72989 173985
Macau 2 0 0 2
Malaysia 0 181 0 181
New Caledonia 375 362 0 737
Papua New Guinea 25 0 0 25
Philippines 1170 528 983 2681
South Korea 927 819 1204 2950
Taiwan 364 795 1378 2537
Thailand 2172 760 2852 5784
Vietnam 1472 1773 1549 4794
TOTAL 414132 390828 317836 1122796

Table 1: Australian exports of feed barley for February, March and April 2024. Source: ABS

MALTING Feb Mar Apr Tonnes
China 110659 184236 240274 535168
Ecuador 0 6500 0 6500
Japan 0 0 26409 26409
Mexico 0 0 33000 33000
Nauru 0 10 0 10
Netherlands 0 0 69995 69995
New Zealand 0 1 0 1
Papua New Guinea 16  0 0 16
Peru 0 19800 0 19800
Philippines 669 1100 1004 2773
Singapore 4087 1495 3609 9191
South Korea 0 0 3654 3654
Taiwan 0 496 496 992
Thailand 1113 480 0 1593
Vietnam 811 21768 264 22844
TOTAL 117354 235887 378704 731946

Table 2: Australian exports of malting barley for February, March and April 2024. Source: ABS

SORGHUM Feb Mar Apr Tonnes
Bahrain 24 0 0 24
China 20463 84789 146041 251293
Japan 24603 41 66 24710
Philippines 1822 1359 1296 4477
South Korea 48 0 0 48
Taiwan 3757 6850 2215 12822
Vietnam 50 50 126 227
TOTAL 50766 93089 149744 293599

Table 3: Australian exports of sorghum for February, March and April 2024. Source: ABS


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.


Get Grain Central's news headlines emailed to you -