AUSTRALIA exported 847,181 tonnes of wheat in August, down 37 per cent from the July figure of 1.35 million tonnes (Mt), according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The drop reflects a diversion of South and Western Australia’s exportable surplus into the drought-affected eastern states, as well as competition in key Asian markets including Indonesia and The Philippines from new-crop wheat shipped from Black Sea ports.
Market Check head of strategy, Nick Crundall, said shipments for August, as the penultimate month for the 2017-18 crop year, were well behind the five-year average for August.
“Indonesia imported 133,000t in August, down more than 50pc from July, while The Philippines dropped from 242k in July to less than 6000t in August,” he said.
“Vietnam, New Zealand and Egypt all increased their Aussie usage month on month, but not enough to compensate for the fall from our traditional export homes.”
Mr Crundall said this decline in export sales was not surprising, as Australia was in “full rationing mode” in response to eastern Australia’s bleak prospects for the 2018-19 season.
“The market needed to rally to stem our export pace to ensure we kept wheat domestically to help fill the deficit we face this coming season, which has manifested in these August numbers.
“Also, transhipments to New South Wales and Queensland have become the focus of exporters, as they provide better value than exporting overseas, and the demand is strong.
“September’s export pace is likely to yield similar results, with the export program all but finished for the 2017-18 season.”
Table 1: ABS bulk wheat export figures for June, July and August 2018.
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Table 2: ABS bulk wheat export figures for June, July and August 2018.
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