AUSTRALIA exported 515,636 tonnes of wheat in November, up 42 per cent from the October total of 361,985t, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The surge represents the start of volume new-crop shipments from southern Australia’s bulk and container ports.
Egypt on 20,252t was the major destination for boxed wheat, while on bulk shipments, Indonesia was the biggest customer with 115,515t, followed by The Philippines on 60,715t and Vietnam on 57,220t.
China does not appear as a November bulk customer, but shipping stems indicate it will for December.
“China has imported a large, potentially record volume of wheat during 2020,” Thomas Elder Markets manager commodity market insights Andrew Whitelaw said
“During November, it imported around 800,000, with none of it coming from Australia.
“It is unusual as typically, Australia would be the largest supplier of Chinese imports; is this vacuum during November caused by political intervention, fear from traders, or just a delayed export program?”
Mr Whitelaw said Australian wheat on a global level was extremely competitive.
“This has been caused by our large crop causing a diminished basis versus other origins.
“In recent years Australia has found it an uphill struggle to supply the export market due to our strong domestic basis.
“We have shown ourselves to be a nation of extremes as we bounce back with gusto.”
Mr Whitelaw said Australian wheat would not compete throughout all of South-East Asia for the rest of the marketing year, but will have potential opportunities into Middle Eastern destinations.
“This will especially be the case if the rumours about Russian wheat export taxes come to fruition.”
Australian growers and trade longs are continuing to sell into the export and domestic markets.
“A big positive this year is that we have, especially in export states, a very high price considering our non-drought status.”
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Table 1: Australian containerised wheat exports for September, October and November 2020. Source: ABS
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Table 2: Australian bulk wheat exports for September, October and November 2020. Source: ABS