Markets

Australia’s June barley exports slump, sorghum rises

Liz Wells, August 9, 2021

A crop of Maximus CL barley comes off in the 2020 WA harvest. Photo: Intergrain

AUSTRALIA exported 361,124 tonnes of feed barley, 35,680t of malting barley, and 188,466t of sorghum in June, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The feed figure is down 55 per cent from the May total of 805,545t, and the malting tonnage is down 45pc from the 64,749t shipped in May, to reflect the run-down in stocks as the current shipping year enters its closing months.

In contrast, sorghum exports rose 72pc over June to 188,466t from 109,892t to reflect the availability of new-crop sorghum shipped mostly out of Brisbane.

Vietnam was the volume destination for June malting exports on 32,964t.

On feed barley, Japan on 80,030t, Iraq on 64,824t and Vietnam on 62,421t were the three biggest markets.

Iraq has not bought Australian barley for some considerable time, and is back in the market now that drought has impacted its own production.

China was again the major market for sorghum, taking 115,182t, with Kenya on 35,000t and Japan on 31,179t the other major bulk customers.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said June feed barley shipments were the lowest seen since November last year.

“We note a gap in Saudi shipments globally over the period, along with continually sliding Asian demand, as the market there makes room for new-crop Black Sea feed wheat,” Mr Roache said.

“Interestingly, we expect July and August bBarley shipments to be around 500,000-600,000t above June, with Saudi shipments picking back up as we finish our program there.

Mr Roache said barley stocks were running fairly tight in Australia, which matched well with Northern Hemisphere harvest and its peak shipping period from July to October.

“We expect a continued decline in shipping volumes due to tight stocks here until new crop, which would pick up from November forward.”

He said the soft conditions and soft spring forecast could lead to a late crop, and this could delay the start of new-crop shipments.

“Depending on shipping significant volume earlier than last-half November may be hazardous.”

On prices, Mr Roache said feed barley values had lifted US$30-40/t over the past three weeks after a significant drop in price on Ukrainian and Romanian harvest pressure.

“The downgraded Canadian crop in terms of quantity and malt selection, support from the wheat market and the recommencement of Chinese buying in Ukraine and France has added buying to the global market, with Saudi a reported buyer of multiple cargoes for the August-September period too.

“Values have recovered to levels we were seeing pre Black Sea Harvest and this has leant support to current and new-crop barley bids in Australia.

“Today, Australia is well priced versus competing countries for new-crop November-December forward, and we expect robust demand in the market as we get closer to that period.”

Malting Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Tonnes
Ecuador 0 0 0 0 5000 0 5000
Japan 1008 21000 0 0 750 750 23508
Mexico 34865 0 0 33840 0 0 68704
Peru 0 0 0 0 53000 0 53000
Singapore 0 0 80 0 0 201 282
Thailand 1639 1871 2032 1889 1051 1765 10247
Vietnam 340 36409 5895 38339 4947 32964 118894
TOTAL 37852 59280 8007 74068 64749 35680 279636

Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for January to June 2021. Source: ABS

Feed Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Tonnes
Bahrain 64 0 88 0 0 44 196
Hong Kong 0 12 0 12 0 12 36
India 0 0 23 0 0 0 23
Indonesia 976 972 0 0 0 258 2206
Iran 0 0 0 0 126487 0 126487
Iraq 0 0 0 0 0 64824 64824
Japan 61555 149282 29416 133438 40919 80030 494640
Kuwait 38248 0 212 33000 102385 33571 207416
Macau 0 0 0 0 5 0 5
Malaysia 129 0 326 0 265 265 985
Myanmar 301 1309 0 0 0 0 1610
Nepal 0 0 45 0 0 0 45
New Caledonia 111 115 579 0 0 390 1195
New Zealand 12542 6600 244 300 365 12760 32811
Oman 0 0 0 0 32790 0 32790
Papua New Guinea 0 0 0 52 0 0 52
Philippines 2534 17504 48217 33790 1572 622 104238
Qatar 52000 15000 0 74500 23100 164600
Saudi Arabia 441125 501871 667123 186604 231904 13750 2042376
Singapore 0 0 3 0 3 665 671
South Korea 14598 300 837 960 883 403 17981
Taiwan 2980 1744 2863 1244 1668 702 11200
Thailand 122305 94052 79000 208437 104351 58485 666630
UAE 33101 13215 46677 476 21890 8824 124183
Vietnam 52470 66945 81132 12249 65558 62421 340776
TOTAL 835039 868923 956785 610560 805545 361124 4437976

Table 2: Australian feed barley exports for January to June 2021. Source: ABS

Sorghum Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Tonnes
China 10590 10562 37762 119798 104754 115192 398658
Japan 22 43 65 22524 63 31179 53895
Kenya 39283 0 0 0 0 35000 74283
Malaysia 0 0 0 24 0 0 24
Philippines 1612 462 3292 2520 2167 920 10973
Saudi Arabia 0 96 0 0 46 46 188
South Korea 0 0 0 100 24 0 124
Taiwan 2201 3908 2831 1250 2836 6002 19027
Vietnam 0 0 0 50 2 127 179
TOTAL 53707 15071 43949 146265 109892 188466 375013

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for January to June 2021. Source: ABS

 

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