AUSTRALIA exported 82,851 tonnes of malting barley, 349,288t of feed barley and 297,601t of sorghum in October, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The malting figure surprised by jumping 153 per cent from the 32,729t shipped in September, while the feed barley number is down 32pc from the September total of 512,617t.
Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said Thailand was again notable in its absence from the list of feed barley customers, likely a function of its own corn harvest hitting the bins in August-September.
“We should see some improvement into Q4 2021 and Q1 2022,” Mr Roache said.
“Thai demand for barley does carry some new risk going forward, with the continuing competitiveness of feed wheat eating into the attractiveness of barley in that country; the same can be said for The Philippines and Vietnam.”
However, a strong export program on Australian feed barley showed no sign of letting up in October.
“Japan and Saudi Arabia continuing to dominate the space as we have seen all year, and Oman, Vietnam and The Philippines continue to contribute to demand.”
Mr Roache said November shipments could see a reduction in volume, the result of rain and cool weather causing delays with harvest and some hold-ups with execution.
“Hopefully we will recover the program to full capacity in December, as we have a big program to push out prior to the harvest of Black Sea new-crop.
“Saudi and Japan should remain the mainstay of Australian demand and be joined by Jordan as a major, which has purchased considerable volumes ex Australian traders for November forward.”
Mr Roache said a robust demand profile was expected, with Australian barley considerably cheaper both locally and in export markets versus Black Sea and European sellers for Q1 and Q2 2022.
“The fact remains that Australia cannot move its crop out quickly enough to service the demand we price, and we expect to carry considerable stocks into Q3 and Q4 2022, which will compete with Black Sea new-crop.”
He said this has recently traded at evens to Australian values into the Middle East for late June shipment.
“It’s the return of competition to our markets.”
In a statement released yesterday, Viterra said its first two cargoes of new-crop barley have sailed from South Australia this week, 66,000t from the Outer Harbor terminal, and 67,000t ex Port Lincoln.
Both are bound for Saudi Arabia.
Ethiopia a welcome newcomer
The rise in October shipments of malting barley was due to bulk sales to Ethiopia.
“As per our records, Ethiopia has never taken any significant volume of Australian barley before, so this is a great example of Australian competitiveness in the global market.
“The usual demand was quiet, as you would expect into the finish of the season and run down of stocks.
“We expect new-crop shipments to start strongly to Asian and South American customers, with a good sales program already on the books.”
Sorghum shipments surge
Sorghum exports continue to exceed expectations, with the October shipment figure up 28pc from September.
“China’s demand is sucking up almost everything available, and Japan has added some minor diversity to the program.
Mr Roache said the continuing large export numbers imply a larger sorghum crop was harvested in 2020-21 than the market expected.
“But we do expect a sharp slowdown as the Queensland-New South Wales program transitions heavily to wheat exports, especially considering the excellent quality wheat available in Queensland and pre-rain northern NSW.”
Mr Roache said a large sorghum crop could be the silver lining to the current wet weather woes in NSW and Queensland.
Much of the southern Queensland and northern NSW sorghum crop has already been planted, and the Central Queensland crop will follow suit after Christmas.
“The sorghum plant will be looking very strong, with excellent moisture available in most areas, and prices to match.
Mr Roache said a large 2022-23 sorghum crop could be the silver lining to the current wet weather woes in NSW and Queensland.
Table 1: Australian malting barley exports in August, September and October 2021. Source: ABS
|Papua New Guinea||25||25||100||150|
Table 2: Australian feed barley exports in August, September and October 2021. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports in August, September and October 2021. Source: ABS
Grain Central: Get our free cropping news straight to your inbox – Click here