Export

Australia’s chickpea exports at 119,428t, up 116pc over March

Liz Wells, May 14, 2018

PRE-RAMADAN buying from Bangladesh has kicked Australian chickpea exports to a monthly high for 2018 of 119,428 tonnes, an increase of 116 per cent from the February shipment figure of 55,253t, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics export data.

Two bulk cargoes out of Queensland accounted for most of the 87,460t which sailed for Bangladesh in March, up from 25,790t in February, and well ahead of the next-biggest March destination, Pakistan, at 12,034t, down 774t from its February figure.

COFCO pulse trader, Rob Brealey, said the March tonnage to Bangladesh was in line with expectations.

“Bangladesh does most of its buying pre-Ramadan, so chickpeas can be roasted like a nut and eaten as a delicacy or snack food after dark during the festival,” he said.

Mr Brealey said he believed there was “a very low probability” of India relaxing its chickpea import regulations this year, and Pakistan, where split chickpeas are used for making dahl, would now be Australia’s key market.

“The main market from here forward is Pakistan for the next 4-6 months.

“All of that is circumvented if we don’t have a crop in the first place. It needs to rain.”

Traders have quoted chickpeas at or just below $600/t for prompt delivery to Darling Downs packers, and said a lack of general planting rain to date in Australia’s key production areas in Queensland and northern New South Wales had growers hopeful of further price rises.

“In my view, 200,000-300,000t is still sitting out in the country, and I’d argue that 40-50pc of that is already sold into export markets,” Mr Brealey said.

One 10,000t cargo which shipped from the Queensland port of Mackay to Bangladesh last month is believed to have wound up Australia’s 2018 bulk shipment program.

This has switched the spotlight back to the containerised market for chana dahl and whole chickpeas.

Table 1: Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing Australian chickpea export data for March 2018, with revised February 2018 figures and January 2018 figures.

Jan Feb Mar Total tonnes
Afghanistan 121 0 0 121
Bangladesh 19035 25790 87460 132285
Canada 527 750 1359 2636
Egypt 377 1172 516 2065
Germany 47 24 0 71
India 675 0 0 675
Iran 1989 969 932 3890
Israel 0 529 25 554
Italy 169 146 125 440
Japan 24 0 21 45
Jordan 939 325 363 1627
Korea 0 42 0 42
Lebanon 0 138 24 162
Malaysia 98 245 288 631
Mauritius 170 122 100 392
Nepal 1699 360 0 2059
Netherlands 48 48 0 96
New Zealand 7 46 93 146
Oman 68 0 0 68
Pakistan 24792 12808 12034 49634
Papua New Guinea 1 5580 7030 12611
Portugal 0 46 500 546
Saudi Arabia 126 950 1276 2352
Singapore 25 24 24 73
South Africa 73 48 48 169
Spain 0 25 100 125
Sri Lanka 48 126 0 174
Taiwan 0 0 18 18
Thailand 26 7 3 36
Turkey 1000 0 465 1465
UAE 4016 2044 4243 10303
United Kingdom 1811 1309 1509 4629
USA 278 1511 822 2611
Yemen 0 69 50 119
TONNES 58189 55253 119428  232870

 

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