AUSTRALIA exported 179,152 tonnes of feed barley in February, up slightly from the January figure, while malting shipments fell by one third over the month to 167,316t, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Sorghum exports remain negligible ahead of the upcoming harvest, and in the face of strong drought-induced domestic demand.
FlexiGrain pool manager Lachlan Hume said February barley exports were on pace with market expectations, but have been largely forgotten given the surge of overseas buying activity since then.
“Thailand, and more importantly, China, have been chipping away purchasing Aussie barley in March, April and further out in the curve.
“This has prompted a sharp increase in our shipping pace.”
FlexiGrain estimates that Australia has 3.5 million tonnes of barley available for export this season from a crop which ABARES has estimated at 8.85Mt.
“We are assuming record domestic inclusions, given the high price of wheat and large relative spread to barley at around $85/t.”
Using shipping stems and making some assumptions on recent purchases, FlexiGrain has compared what is estimated to be shipped by the end of May versus what it believes is available.
The export surplus for wheat is expected to be 81 per cent shipped and barley 74pc shipped by the end of next month.
“To the end of May, we will have exported around 2.6Mt of barley, leaving 900,000t for the last four months of the grain export year which ends on 30 September.
“Only twice in the past 10 years have we exported less than this in the period: 2017/18 and 2018/19.
“In both years, Australian barley priced very close to local wheat, around $10 under, and was away from competing with other export-barley origins.
“If we see an anti-dumping anti-climax and China engage further, barley could run out of sellers in the back half of the marketing year.”
Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for December 2019 and January and February 2020. Source: ABS
|FEED||December 2019||January 2020||February 2020||Tonnes|
|Papua New Guinea||0||0||21||21|
|United Arab Emirates||579||1035||21705||23319|
Table 2: Australian feed barley exports for December 2019 and January and February 2020. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for December 2019 and January and February 2020. Source: ABS
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