Export

Australian first-quarter wheat exports hit 3.6Mt

Liz Wells, May 23, 2018

AUSTRALIA has shipped 3.58 million tonnes (Mt) of wheat in total in January-March 2018, made up of 3.02Mt of bulk and 561,094t of containerised wheat, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Market Check head of strategy, Nick Crundall, said these numbers illustrated the fundamental demand for Australian wheat, and were likely to continue into the current month

“If we look at the shipping stem, May is shaping up to be our biggest export month to date this season, which illustrates that global demand for our wheat is strong amidst rallying global FOB prices,” Mr Crundall said.

He said Australia’s weather would determine whether volume shipments continued into June.

“If our cropping belts remain dry, then we will likely destroy export demand by pricing ourselves out of the export grid.

“The other thing to consider is that Black Sea new crop supplies don’t really hit the export market until July.”

He said this, coupled with Russia running low on current-crop stocks in its southern export regions, meant demand for Australian wheat should remain in place in the short term.

Western Australia’s export pace in the season thus far has been slower than some in the market expected, but is believed to be picking up pace.

“South Australia is similar, and the fact that it is now starting to ship grain to Queensland means its stocks need to be monitored closely.

“Victoria’s export pace to date has been quite strong, although considering the price spreads between Victoria and South and Western Australia have widened, we should see a drop-off in export demand as the market focuses on the domestic market.”

ABS export data shows March was the biggest month for bulk and boxed wheat shipments in the year to date.

Indonesia took a very low 81,018t in February, which Mr Crundall said showed the impact of cheaper Black Sea offers.

“However, we’ve seen much better demand for March, coming in at 254,405t.”

“Vietnam was a key destination for containers in March, taking just shy of double what they took in February.”

The Philippines’ March imports of 251,568t of boxed and bulk wheat in total were more than double their February total.

Behind Vietnam, China was Australia’s second-biggest destination for containerised wheat in March, and was the third-biggest bulk market behind Indonesia and The Philippines.

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Table 1: Australian Bureau of Statistics containerised wheat export data for January, February and March 2018.

CONTAINERISED WHEAT Jan Feb Mar Total
China 5817 14261 26317 46395
Fiji 1821 3550 3476 8847
French Polynesia 175 0 0 175
Hong Kong 24 24 0 48
Indonesia 15435 10768 11172 37375
Japan 2900 0 1590 4490
Korea 520 554 537 1611
Malaysia 18103 19686 17472 55261
Myanmar 23918 23075 23980 70973
New Caledonia 3104 2882 2445 8431
New Zealand 9740 3584 3954 17278
Papua New Guinea 478 673 226 1377
Philippines 16942 20353 22318 59613
Saudi Arabia 500 2090 2321 4911
Singapore 3012 3458 0 6470
Solomon Islands 1967 500 1202 3669
Sri Lanka 0 0 1045 1045
Taiwan 21382 18575 19590 59547
Tanzania 260 245 0 505
Thailand 16045 17658 17109 50812
United Kingdom 253 0 0 253
Vietnam 33292 45841 42875 122008
TONNES 175688 187777 197629 561094

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Table 2: Australian Bureau of Statistics bulk wheat export data for January, February and March 2018.

BULK WHEAT Jan Feb Mar Total
Bahrain 27500 0 26900 54400
Bangladesh 0 0 51000 51000
China 0 61579 162062 223641
Egypt 0 23905 56220 80125
Fiji 0 0 14000 14000
India 0 30780 0 30780
Indonesia 217690 70250 243233 531173
Iraq 52500 27000 0 79500
Japan 161893 27127 70159 259179
Korea 120235 90265 60273 270773
Kuwait 45370 43572 0 88942
Malaysia 90500 19286 65339 175125
New Zealand 45939 0 52914 98853
Nigeria 0 50500 0 50500
Oman 0 21999 0 21999
Papua New Guinea 22000 0 17600 39600
Philippines 71456 85595 229250 386301
Qatar 0 20881 0 20881
Thailand 0 34913 45100 80013
Singapore 9920 0 0 9920
United Arab Emirates 34300 31986 0 66286
Vietnam 60010 65955 119806 245771
Yemen 30250 58140 55000 143390
 TOTAL 989563 763733 1268856 3022152

 

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