Markets

Australia exports 969,830t barley, 52,208t sorghum in March

Liz Wells, May 10, 2021

This barley cargo loaded at Port Adelaide contributed to March 2021 exports. Photo: Quadra Australia

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.”

MALTING Jan Feb Mar Tonnes
Japan 1008 21000 0 22008
Mexico 34865 0 0 34865
Singapore 0 0 80 80
Thailand 1639 1871 2032 5542
Vietnam 340 36409 5895 42644
TOTAL 37852 59280 8007 105139

Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for January, February and March 2021. Source: ABS

FEED Jan Feb Mar Tonnes
Bahrain 64 0 88 152
Hong Kong 0 12 0 12
India 0 0 23 23
Indonesia 976 972 0 1948
Japan 61555 149282 29416 240253
Kuwait 38248 0 212 38460
Malaysia 129 0 326 455
Myanmar 301 1309 0 1610
Nepal 0 0 45 45
New Caledonia 111 115 579 805
New Zealand 12542 6600 244 19386
Philippines 2534 17504 48217 68255
Qatar 52000 15000 0 67000
Saudi Arabia 441125 501871 667123 1610119
Singapore 0 0 3 3
South Korea 14598 300 837 15735
Taiwan 2980 1744 2863 7587
Thailand 122305 94052 83700 300057
UAE 33101 13215 46677 92993
Vietnam 52470 66945 81470 200886
TOTAL 835039 868923 961823 2665785

Table 1: Australian feed barley exports for January, February and March 2021. Source: ABS

SORGHUM Jan Feb Mar Tonnes
China 10590 10572 46021 67182
Japan 22 43 65 129
Kenya 39283 0 0 39283
Philippines 1612 462 3292 5366
Saudi Arabia 0 96 0 96
Taiwan 2201 3908 2831 8940
TOTAL 53707 15081 52208 120996

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for January, February and March 2021. Source: ABS

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