AUSTRALIA exported 961, 823 tonnes of feed barley, 8007t of malting barley and 52,208t of sorghum in March, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
While the malting volume showed a drop of 86 per cent from February exports of 59,280t, feed barley shipments rose 11pc from February to 961,823t.
Sorghum shipments in March were up 246pc from the 15,081t exported in February to reflect new-crop availability of bulk sorghum ex Brisbane.
On feed barley, the major load ports were Port Adelaide in South Australia on 194,799t, followed by the Western Australian ports of Fremantle on 173,337t and Albany on 129,575t.
In fourth place for feed barley exports was Port Kembla in New South Wales on 95,416t to represent the first big cargoes of NSW barley to be shipped since the 2017-19 drought hit.
“March exports of barley are once again around 1 million tonnes (Mt), which has been the case for a few months now,” Market Check head of strategy Nick Crundall said.
“Demand out of South-east Asia is helping push export volumes up but really it’s Saudi Arabia that is single-handedly carrying Aussie barley exports.”
March export data takes Australian barley exports for the 2020-21 marketing year to more than 4.6Mt, and Mr Crundall said April and May are also set to be relatively big months.
“Volumes will drop off though as available stock in exporting states winds down, and Northern Hemisphere barley comes online.”
Sorghum volumes remain subdued.
“April will also be fairly limited, while a pickup in May is on the cards.”
Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said while March was another very strong month for barley exports, it was still behind Australia’s largest ever month of 1.2Mt in March 2017.
“Australia is having no problem finding homes for our crop, with feedgrains very tight around the world,” Mr Roache said.
“Monthly records are being set to many key destinations old and new, including Saudi Arabia, The Philippines and Vietnam.”
Mr Roache said carry-out was likely be in the tighter end of the range in the closing months of the shipping year from July on.
“We estimate carry-out at around 500,000– 1Mt, tighter than average, with only around 20pc of stocks growth year on year and, versus the 2019 season, our tightest ever.
“Dry conditions in Victoria and South Australia still have the ability to tighten the market, and should not be ignored.”
Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for January, February and March 2021. Source: ABS
Table 1: Australian feed barley exports for January, February and March 2021. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for January, February and March 2021. Source: ABS
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