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Australia ships 535,522t barley, 266,101t sorghum in June

Liz Wells, August 10, 2022

The nutritional and cost benefits of compound feeds over straight barley are being successfully promoted in Saudi Arabia to feeders of camels, cattle, chickens, sheep and goats. Photo: ARASCO

AUSTRALIA exported 482,840 tonnes of feed barley, 52,682t of malting barley and 266,101t of sorghum in June, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The feed barley figure is down 18 per cent from the May total of 585,968t, while the malting figure is down 27pc from 72,203t shipped in May.

The June sorghum figure is down very slightly from the 267,595t exported in May.

With 266,132t shipped in June, Saudi Arabia once again was the biggest market for feed barley, followed by Japan on 135,959t and Vietnam on 65,790t.

In malting, Japan on 22,637t, South Korea on 20,417t and Singapore on 4264t were the three biggest buyers.

China continues its run as the biggest customer by far for Australian sorghum, and was the destination for 188,993t of the June-shipped grain, followed by Japan on 69,500t and Taiwan on 5586t.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said feed barley exports came in at their lowest level since October.

“Dwindling supplies in South Australia and Victoria are putting the brakes on Australian volumes, along with EU and Black Sea new-crop sales taking some of our market share into the Middle East,” Mr Roache said.

“As is often the case around Black Sea harvest, we are pressured with increased flows and lower prices as farmers sell their earliest cash crop.”

Mr Roache said feed barley shipments through the closing months of the shipping year which ends September 30 are likely to continue at the June level to take 2021-22 exports to 7-7.5 million tonnes to make it one of Australia’s three biggest barley-shipping years on record.

“With virtually no barley flowing out of Ukraine, and corn weather issues flaring in the US and Europe, we expect demand to strengthen coming into the new-crop Aussie period.

“Combined with our very good crop prospects, we expect to see a solid export program in October and November, with a huge push in Nov-Dec, when the new crop comes off.”

In malting barley, bulk shipments to Central and South America and Vietnam were notable in their absence.

“The dynamic is similar to feed barley; we are running low on exportable malting stocks in Vic and SA and we face more competition from European new crop today.”

After Canada’s drought-hit season last year, Mr Roache said the resumption of its export program will indirectly take some malting market share from Australia.

“It is plausible that normal harvest quality malt premiums can drop a bit into new crop and stay subdued, with competing Canadian supplies being the big difference year on year.”

The United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Barley Trade Quarterly released overnight said Saudi Arabia has imported 3.87Mt of feed barley from July 2021 to May 2022, a 44pc decline on the corresponding 2020-21 figure of 6.88Mt.

Quoting Trade Data Monitor figures, the report says Saudi imported 2.55Mt, or 65.9pc of its Jly-May tonnage, from Australia, with 14.9pc coming from the EU, and 9.6pc each from Russia and Ukraine.

In 2020-21 (Jly-May), Australia supplied 37.4pc of Saudi’s barley, with Russia on 39.1pc , the EU on 18.6pc, and Ukraine on 4.9pc.

The drop is attributed to the high price of barley, which has seen Saudi livestock farmers use more processed feed, with corn and soybeans as the main ingredients.

The report said yellow corn is currently priced at US$290/t cost and freight, compared with Australian barley at $320/t.

MALTING Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr May June Tonnes
Ecuador 0 6000 5149 0 0 11149
Ethiopia 50776 0 0 0 0 50776
Indonesia 510 0 0 0 0 510
Japan 3502 21000 496 978 22637 48613
Kuwait 0 0 33000 0 0 33000
Mexico 33000 96299 33000 63000 0 225299
New Zealand 100 0 0 0 0 100
Peru 29423 21500 17851 0 0 68774
Philippines 1706 3335 200 994 790 7025
Singapore 10181 11299 3976 3096 4264 32816
South Korea 0 0 397 397 20417 21211
Thailand 5468 6029 1030 2172 2306 17005
Vietnam 2382 67664 44288 1566 2268 118168
TOTAL 137048 233126 139387 72203 52682 634446

Table 1: Australian malting barley exports from October 2021 to June 2022. Source: ABS

FEED Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr May June Tonnes
Canada 0 33000 33000 29962 0 95962
Ecuador 13947 0 0 0 0 13947
Hong Kong 12 12 12 12 0 48
India 435 495 0 0 323 1253
Iran 0 33533 32467 0 0 66000
Japan 297785 169828 95066 100332 135959 798970
Jordan 63000 323000 81800 32200 0 500000
Kuwait 81733 118984 0 123916 0 324633
Macau 5 0 0 0 0 5
Malaysia 725 442 0 2 276 1445
Mexico 31576 0 0 0 0 31576
Myanmar 0 242 230 0 0 472
Netherlands 0 41749 0 0 0 41749
New Caledonia 994 472 216 198 0 1880
New Zealand 5800 5000 0 0 0 10800
Oman 34767 0 0 11000 0 45767
Papua New Guinea 300 25 25 0 50 400
Philippines 231176 150105 825 14271 1757 398134
Qatar 110050 76800 52500 0 0 239350
Saudi Arabia 748319 833280 238749 209234 266132 2295714
Singapore 802 1204 2 976 2 2986
South Korea 18294 2317 904 1550 520 23585
Spain 4 0 0 0 0 4
Taiwan 9821 13006 3583 3694 2160 32264
Thailand 66137 32193 1007 0 0 99337
UAE 54130 85779 32450 43137 9871 225367
Vietnam 130391 31453 51294 15484 65790 294412
TOTAL 1900203 1952919 624130 585968 482840 5546060

Table 2: Australian feed barley exports from October 2021 to June 2022. Source: ABS

SORGHUM Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr May June Tonnes
China 415171 196374 189299 227000 188993 1216837
Fiji 0 0 0 1 0 1
Japan 44190 200 43 33021 69500 146954
Malaysia 24 0 0 0 0 24
Philippines 4057 4565 2229 2904 1972 15727
South Korea 48 86 25 0 0 159
Taiwan 5504 2018 2872 2959 5586 18939
Tanzania 0 0 4308 1710 0 6018
United Kingdom 0 0 24 0 0 24
Vietnam 0 0 0 0 50 50
TOTAL 468994 203243 198800 267595 266101 1404733

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports from October 2021 to June 2022. Source: ABS

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