AUSTRALIA exported 269,386 tonnes of barley in May, down 60 per cent from the 679,775t shipped in April, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The drop is largely attributable to China introducing a hefty tariff on Australian barley in May which exporters were not surprised to see as the outcome of its anti-dumping investigation into historic pricing.
Ahead of the expected announcement, shippers front-loaded their sales programs to get all the vessels they could into China in April
Exports to China accounted for 234,622t of total May barley shipments.
“We managed to still get 235K into China before the implementation which helped elevate the numbers, as it accounted for nearly 80 per cent of total shipments,” Market Check head of strategy Nick Crundall said.
Japan bought some bulk barley, but other feed and malting markets were containerised customers only in May.
“Thailand, which has been a strong buyer in replacement of China, only took 2122t, but its numbers will rise as the months progress, given business has been getting done.
“Although the month-on-month fall is discouraging, it’s not entirely due to China’s announcements, as tight stocks in export states would have naturally reduced volumes through the year as volume becomes hard to come by.
“This is evidenced by the recent release of the stock-on-hand numbers by CBH and Viterra.”
At 890t, May sorghum exports continued the trend of negligible volume.
This reflects the very small amount of sorghum surplus to domestic requirements from the early planted crop in Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for March, April and May 2020. Source: ABS
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Table 2: Australian feed barley exports for March, April and May 2020. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for March, April and May 2020. Source: ABS
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