AUSTRALIA exported 5.77 million tonnes (Mt) of feed barley, 1.15Mt of malting barley and 2.81Mt of sorghum in the year to 30 September 2023, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Combined malting and feed barley exports for September at 485,859t were up 40 percent from 346,213t shipped in August, a hefty upswing unusual for the last month of the marketing year prompted by China’s return to the market.
September figures showed a strong month for barley exports.
“We’ve seen the Chinese shipping program pick up as per our expectations,” Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said.
“We note a significant jump in malting barley exports to China, but this is misleading, with most of the shipments being feed barley.
“We expect barley shipments to ramp up further in October and November, and by December we should be up around the 1Mt-per-month mark.
“Overall, we expect around 3Mt plus has been sold to China since August, with this being over half of our expected exports for the entire shipping year to October 2024.”
“That is a very aggressively sold program and we continue to see that aggressive buying from China in the market today, which is great for Australian barley growers.”
For the year to September 30, Mexico followed by China and Peru were the major malting barley markets, while Saudi Arabia, Japan and Thailand were the biggest feed barley markets.
Sorghum exports also posted an unexpectedly strong result, with 326,412t shipped in September, up 22pc from the August figure of 268,055t.
“China remains the only game in town, with 95pc of exports heading there and little chance of substantive change on that front any time soon.”
In its Australia: Grain and Feed Update released November 2, USDA has forecast Australia’s barley crop now being harvested at 10Mt, with 2023-24 exports of 5.5 Mt, and sorghum production at 1.3 Mt from the crop now being planted.
The forecast sorghum crop is seen one of the lowest in the past 20 years, and exports are forecast at 1.1Mt.
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Table 1: Australian feed barley exports for the year to 30 September 2023. Source: ABS
Table 2: Australian malting barley exports for the year to 30 September 2023. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for the year to 30 September 2023. Source: ABS