AUSTRALIA exported 979,669 tonnes of barley in December, up from 298,800t in November, to signal the start of high-volume new-crop exports.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that two major feed barley customers, Saudi Arabia on 396,011t and Thailand 216,928t, where the biggest customers.
On sorghum, China continues to be the dominant buyer as the export surplus runs down ahead of new-crop becoming available in volume next month.
Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said the barley figures indicate very strong global feedgrain demand.
“Non China-origin barley is well priced to maximise traditional demand, along with elastic demand displacing corn and other inputs and wheat into compound feeding in many parts of the world.
“This demand is giving Australian farmers a great opportunity to sell barley before the world market inversion, which comes in July-August with the Black Sea new crop.”
“We see shipped barley and vessels on the stem to March accounting for almost 50 per cent of our annual shipment expectation, which should allay the earlier fears many in the market had about barley’s demand profile.
“Monthly and annual destination records will be tested this season or have been broken already.”
New, repeat business
Mr Roache said December shipments to Saudi represent Australia’s biggest export month to that market seen since October 2011, and sales to Vietnam at around 65,000t are also more than double the previous highest tonnage.
Australia’s December shipments of barley to Thailand are believed to be a record.
“Thailand is becoming an important destination for Australian barley, growing from around 200,000t in 2017-18 to an expected 1-1.5 million tonnes in 2020-21.”
Mr Roache said the November and December barley export figures also show:
- Japan at around 90,000t shipped in December is up on the 10-year monthly average of around 65,000t;
- Kuwait at around 80,000t for December is the second-largest monthly shipment in 10 years, and far above the average monthly shipment;
- Qatar bought around 74,000t in November to make it, in one month alone, the largest year of Australian shipments ever;
- UAE’s 10-year annual average import figure for Australian barley is 173,000t, and the December figure of around 55,000t represents a very strong start for 2020-21 shipments.
Table 1: Australian July-December 2020 malting barley exports. Source: ABS
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Table 2: Australian July-December 2020 feed barley exports. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian July-December 2020 sorghum exports. Source: ABS