July barley exports climb, sorghum eases

Liz Wells, September 15, 2022

A thriving crop of Planet barley growing at Croppa Creek in far northern NSW. Photo: Rob Austen, McGregor Gourlay

AUSTRALIA exported 94,404 tonnes of malting barley, 498,057t of feed barley and 242,400t of sorghum in July, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The barley figures are up 80 per cent from the June total on malting and 4pc on feed, while the sorghum total represents a 4pc drop over the month.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said July was a strong month for malting barley thanks to the return of demand from Mexico and Peru as well as Vietnam.

“The consistency of the Central and South American business is notable, and it will be interesting to watch if the Canadians can eat into this market with their improved production as we move into the Oct-Dec quarter,” Mr Roache said.

As with last year, when Canada’s drought fuelled export Feed barley shipments were strong for a period when Australian exports typically enter the key Black Sea and EU shipping window

“Our volumes are seemingly unaffected by the harvest pressure and export competition out of the Northern Hemisphere at this stage.

“We do note that the Ukrainians are shipping virtually no barley so far this season, with the majority of resources being focussed on corn to this point.”

Russian new-crop grain shipments have been slow overall and lagging expected pace, but that is expected to change from this month.

“Despite the poor Russian shipments in July-August and flare-ups in conflict, we are beginning to see some stronger export numbers in September, and this will mean more competition for Aussie grain if pace can be sustained.

“The market is comfortable that Russia has the crop and the grain is there to ship; it’s a matter of when, not if.”

Australia’s feed barley markets continued on trend in July, with the Middle East leading the way, and Japan and Vietnam holding up the Asian side.

“Feed wheat continues to block us out of The Philippines and further Asian demand on price.

“Depending on the quality profile of the coming Australian crop, along with the continuing strength in global corn markets, we can see barley winning back some demand into Asia in the new-crop timeframe.”

In Australia’s new-crop market, Mr Roache said activity has been relatively quiet.

“Saudi buyers are standing back in front of a growing Australian production.

“Jordan tenders have been some of the only new-crop business we are seeing, and they are indicating a steady market over the last month or so.”

Mr Roache said Australia’s elevation margins for barley were behind those of wheat and other grains.

“Therefore barley does risk having a lack of export capacity allocated to it as it stands today.

“The market will respond to this, with one solve being Saudi and other Middle East buyers eventually having to pay up to draw the barley out via a higher global price, especially in the face of higher corn prices.”

He said the other option was  the local barley market coming under pressure via harvest selling, which will have a similar effect on margins.

“We suggest a bit of both will eventuate.

“We think harvest pressure could see some severe drops in price, especially if Saudi can manage to stay out of the market for another one or two months.

“Avoid it if you can.”

MALTING May June July Tonnes
Ecuador 0 0 6000 6000
Japan 978 22637 1251 24866
Mexico 63000 0 30000 93000
Peru 0 0 15900 15900
Philippines 994 640 1381 3015
Singapore 3096 4264 2861 10221
South Korea 397 20417 397 21212
Thailand 2172 2306 882 5360
Vietnam 1566 2053 35733 39352
TOTAL 72204 52317 94404 218925

Table 1: Australian malting barley exports for May, June and July 2022. Source: ABS

FEED May June July Tonnes
Canada 29962 0 0 29962
Hong Kong 12 0 12 24
India 0 323 670 993
Japan 100332 135959 77000 313291
Jordan 32200 0 0 32200
Kuwait 123916 0 67795 191711
Macau 0 0 5 5
Malaysia 2 276 0 278
New Caledonia 198 0 197 395
New Zealand 0 0 6337 6337
Oman 11000 0 0 11000
Papua New Guinea 0 50 0 50
Philippines 14271 1721 10974 26966
Saudi Arabia 209234 266132 222718 698084
Singapore 976 2 2 980
South Korea 1550 520 713 2784
Spain 0 0 10 10
Taiwan 3694 2160 1283 7136
Thailand 0 0 20 20
United Arab Emirates 43137 9871 39322 92329
Vietnam 15146 66076 71000 152222
TOTAL 585631 483089 498057 1566778

Table 2: Australian feed barley exports for May, June and July 2022. Source: ABS

SORGHUM May June July Tonnes
China 221532 174950 218998 615480
Fiji 1 0 0 1
Japan 33021 69500 21 102542
New Zealand 0 0 18075 18075
Philippines 2904 2397 3614 8915
Taiwan 2959 4336 1647 8941
Tanzania 1710 50 45 1805
TOTAL 262127 251233 242400 755760

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports for May, June and July 2022. Source: ABS



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