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.”
Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for January to June 2021. Source: ABS
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Table 2: Australian feed barley exports for January to June 2021. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for January to June 2021. Source: ABS
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