Markets

China buying drives surge in Aus Jan wheat exports

Liz Wells, March 8, 2024

A bunker fills with wheat at one of GrainCorp’s Victorian sites in December. Photo: Brent Hornby, regional operations manager

AUSTRALIA exported 2,718,404 tonnes of wheat and 500t of durum in January, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figure is up 97pc on total exports for December, with a surge in volume shipped to China the driver.

In containerised exports, Australia shipped 156,540t of wheat and 500t of durum in January, with Taiwan on 26,014t, Thailand on 22,278t, and Indonesia on 22,078t the three largest boxed markets.

Bulk exports saw 2,561,864t of wheat shipped in January, with China on 960,328t the biggest destination by far.

While January’s containerised wheat exports to China were up 32pc from the December figure, bulk exports more than quadrupled from 234,410t.

The second-biggest volume market for January bulk wheat exports was Indonesia on 525,913t, more than triple the December volume of 155,280t.

Bulk shipments to The Philippines on 217,104t were up marginally for the month to put it in third place, while Japan was the fourth-largest bulk market with 212,626t.

Bulk exports to Japan were more than triple the December figure.

While Australia’s export year officially starts in October, the full force of new-crop volume was not seen until January.

This is because Australia’s areas which harvest early, namely Queensland, northern New South Wales, and Western Australia’s Geraldton zone had relatively low-yielding seasons.

BOXED Nov Dec Jan Tonnes
Bahrain 25 0 0 25
Bangladesh 0 250 0 250
China 10617 16745 22048 49410
Egypt 0 0 35 35
Fiji 245 0 0 245
French Polynesia 0 244 0 244
Hong Kong 541 249 0 790
India 3506 3013 3156 9674
Indonesia 12716 10137 22078 44931
Japan 1513 1767 499 3778
Malaysia 19684 13345 20433 53462
Myanmar 1016 375 0 1391
New Caledonia 1950 3056 2522 7527
New Zealand 2476 2551 2244 7272
Papua New Guinea 702 0 1966 2668
Philippines 2781 7935 11322 22038
Saudi Arabia 1517 1247 250 3014
Singapore 1497 2238 2518 6254
Solomon Islands 0 1002 3114 4116
South Korea 500 1042 660 2201
Sri Lanka 177 0 0 177
Taiwan 19931 15116 26014 61060
Thailand 24597 24752 22278 71628
UAE 0 251 594 845
UK 255 604 375 1234
Vietnam 11638 19474 14435 45546
DURUM
China 199 0 0 199
Italy 0 500 500 1000
UAE 996 0 0 996
TOTAL 119078 125890 157040 402008

Table 1: Australian containerised wheat and durum exports in November and December 2023 and January 2024. Source: ABS

BULK Nov Dec Jan Tonnes
Bahrain 0 0 25709 25709
China 171348 234410 960328 1366086
Egypt 0 0 364 364
Fiji 12018 0 26150 38168
India 846 12300 0 13146
Indonesia 178778 155280 525913 859971
Japan 81715 69774 212626 364115
Kuwait 0 36884 32974 69858
Malaysia 25624 65900 28390 119914
Mauritius 18000 0 0 18000
Myanmar 0 57802 0 57802
New Zealand 15396 46654 66757 128807
Oman 27101 0 0 27101
Papua New Guinea 43247 29700 31736 104683
Philippines 104649 198446 217104 520199
Qatar 0 0 20600 20600
Singapore 23700 0 0 23700
South Korea 94600 65579 113293 273473
Taiwan 0 297 0 297
Thailand 0 518 85167 85685
UAE 249 32528 23874 56651
Vietnam 107623 111675 86510 305808
Yemen 102955 137530 104369 344854
TOTAL 1007848 1255277 2561864 4824989

Table 2: Australian bulk wheat exports in November and December 2023 and January 2024. Source: ABS

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