Export

Philippines tops Australia’s bulk February wheat sales

Liz Wells, April 10, 2019

AUSTRALIA exported 835,205 tonnes of wheat in February, down 3 per cent from 857,494t shipped in January, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with The Philippines its biggest bulk customer.

In bulk exports, The Philippines with 152,582t, Korea with 150,150t and Japan with 110,772t were the biggest-volume customers, with The Philippines gaining special mention in this week’s USDA reporting (see below).

In boxed sales, Myanmar on 22,503t, Malaysia with 17,928t and Thailand with 14,069t bought the largest tonnages.

Market Check head of strategy Nick Crundall said February’s wheat exports were relatively strong considering the size of Australia’s 2018-19 export surplus.

“Unsurprisingly, Western Australia did the large majority of these exports, doing 770,000t for February, which exceeded the five-year average for the month,” Mr Crundall said.

“This is encouraging to see, especially as we’re in the midst of our key exporting window.

A 2017 AEGIC baking workshop in The Philippines. Photo: AEGIC

“Looking at the breakdown of destination, it’s unsurprising to see The Philippines take out number one place as our major export home for February, while Indonesia has continued to wind back on Aussie wheat procurement.

“Cheaper options from other origins like the Black Sea and Argentina, plus a lower-quality profile of the WA wheat crop, has meant we’ve seen a stronger presence of lower quality buyers feature in the data than in previous years.

“Looking forward, the shipping stem is again showing another relatively strong month in March.”

Demand from Philippines

The USDA Grain: World Markets and Trade report released overnight pointed to The Philippines’ wheat imports surging to a record 7 million tonnes (Mt) in 2018-19.

The Philippines’ wheat imports surged to 7Mt in 2018/19. Source: USDA

The report said The Philippines’ wheat imports have been rising in recent years, as demand for food and feed grains increases with the growing population.

“Although primarily a rice-based diet, Philippine preferences are shifting from corn-based products to incorporating more affordable wheat products,” the report said.

“Also, animal feeding is expected higher as demand for more protein in the diets continues to grow.

“This year specifically, the trend towards stronger wheat use has intensified due to typhoon-related losses in the domestic corn crop.

“With domestic corn prices relatively high, the demand for wheat has surged, both in feed rations and for human consumption.”

BULK Dec Jan Feb Tonnes
Fiji 44000 0 0 44000
Indonesia 149857 66239 86294 302390
Iraq 51900 0 0 51900
Japan 63693 103463 110772 277928
Kenya 44469 0 0 44469
Korea 104480 106800 150150 361430
Kuwait 0 86743 42029 128772
Malaysia 0 54916 81875 136791
Myanmar 500 0 0 500
New Zealand 27500 20900 27130 75530
Oman 0 24375 16500 40875
Papua New Guinea 0 17600 18000 35600
Philippines 0 82524 152582 235106
Singapore 16500 14300 0 30800
Sri Lanka 30048 3540 248 33836
Thailand 0 81500 19541 101041
UAE 0 40617 0 40617
Viet Nam 50841 66155 0 116996
Yemen 54291 0 48000 102291
TOTAL 638079 769672 753120 2160872

Table 1: ABS bulk Australian wheat export data for December and January 2018 and February 2019.

BOXED Dec Jan Feb Tonnes
China 3891 999 0 4890
Egypt 300 0 350 650
Fiji 2711 4029 2306 9046
Hong Kong 24 0 24
Indonesia 0 0 1760 1760
Japan 0 3121 410 3531
Korea 1849 601 670 3120
Malaysia 9272 10325 17928 37525
Myanmar 34374 24192 22503 81069
New Caledonia 1354 926 1598 3878
New Zealand 2478 5382 3807 11667
Papua New Guinea 440 572 43 1055
Philippines 4728 3302 4424 12455
Saudi Arabia 0 0 500 500
Singapore 2532 2016 1517 6065
Solomon Islands 0 1200 750 1951
Sri Lanka 0 0 2057 2057
Taiwan 2920 5204 3704 11828
Tanzania 0 495 0 495
Thailand 8014 18187 14069 40271
UAE 0 196 137 333
United Kingdom 506 300 666 1472
Vietnam 5926 6773 2885 15584
TOTAL 81322 87822 82085 251228

Table 2: ABS boxed Australian wheat export data for December and January 2018 and February 2019.

 

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