AUSTRALIA shipped a total of 77,558 tonnes of barley and sorghum to China in July, 72 per cent down on the tonnage shipped in July last year, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Trade sources have said this reflects China’s ongoing anti-dumping investigation into historic Australian barley pricing, and competitive exports of new-crop European and Black Sea barley.
In July 2018, Australia had a much larger export surplus of barley and sorghum than it has this year, and it shipped 92,593t of malting barley, 65,917t of feed barley and 118,399t of sorghum, or 276,909t in total, to China.
Japan was Australia’s biggest combined barley buyer for July 2019, taking 6180t of malting and 98,870t of feed.
Shipping stems for Australia’s major ports indicate Australia has all but stopped exports of current-crop barley, with vessels booked to load in South and Western Australia likely to be coming to eastern Australia.
Bulk sorghum shipments also look to have stopped for the year, as the domestic market’s drought-induced premium over export parity continues to keep tonnage away from overseas markets.
Table 1: ABS malting barley export data for May, June and July 2019.
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Table 2: ABS feed barley export data for May, June and July 2019.
Table 3: ABS sorghum export data for May, June and July 2019.