Markets

May feed barley, sorghum exports up, malting halves

Liz Wells, July 13, 2022

South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia have exported the vast majority of Australia’s current-crop barley. Photo: Viterra

AUSTRALIA exported 637,004 tonnes of feed barley, 72,608t of malting barley and 304,470t of sorghum in May, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The malting figure is down 48 per cent from the April total of 139,387t, while feed barley exports for May are up 2pc from the 624,130t shipped in April.

Sorghum exports in May jumped 53pc from the April total of 198,800t.

Mexico accounted for 87pc of Australia’s malting exports in May, while Saudi Arabia on 269,234t was the major destination for feed barley shipments, taking 42pc of the total.

Kuwait on 123,916t and Japan on 100,332t were the second and third-biggest destinations for Australia’s May-shipped feed barley.

China continues as the volume buyer of Australian sorghum, and was the destination for 231,315t, or 76pc, of May shipments, with Japan on 65,031t the other major bulk customer for the month.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said May saw malting barley shipments back off the big April number and return to around the average monthly figure for the year.

“Mexico continues to lead the way with a recent record month, with lower numbers from Vietnam and Peru to balance that off,” Mr Roache said.

“The mystery Kuwait malt last month didn’t reoccur and it is likely that this was a misdiagnosed feed cargo.”

On feed barley, Mr Roache said May was a notably large month for shipments to Kuwait, and exports to Saudi and Japan were closer to the higher end than the lower end of recent.

“The robust demand environment to these standard barley buyers is notable, and we expect consistent business for the year, with a minor slowdown in volume as stocks dwindle.”

Mr Roache said current-crop export business with good export margins was already sold right out to October to Middle East destinations including Saudi.

“Looking further forward, Jordan has already purchased a likely Australian cargo in a recent tender for the Nov period, which is another great indicator of Aussie competitiveness and showing a margin of A$50/t plus over local grower bids.

“We lose Iran, which will likely switch over to Russian execution from June-July forward, but this is no surprise.”

Mr Roache said Asian demand remained subdued, with The Philippines only featuring for a small amount and Thailand continuing to miss entirely.

“Asian feedgrain demand is gravitating towards corn, with even the previously cheap and surplus Aussie feed wheat losing considerable market share to new-crop South American corn.

“What happens going forward is in the hands of US weather, but for the moment, corn is in the box seat.”

Sorghum saw a strong month, with more crop and logistics available to export.

“The demand is there and it is largely understood that sorghum exports offer the best margins for traders, so sorghum will continue to get the slots it needs.

“Again, China is there for the lion’s share, which will continue to be the case unless politics gets in the way.”

MALTING Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr May Tonnes
Ecuador 0 6000 5149 0 11149
Ethiopia 50776 0 0 0 50776
Indonesia 510 0 0 0 510
Japan 3502 21000 496 978 25976
Kuwait 0 0 33000 0 33000
Mexico 33000 96299 33000 63000 225299
New Zealand 100 0 0 0 100
Peru 29423 21500 17851 0 68774
Philippines 1706 3335 200 994 6235
Singapore 10181 11299 3976 3296 28752
South Korea 0 0 397 397 794
Thailand 5468 6029 1030 2172 14699
Vietnam 2382 67664 44288 1771 116105
TOTAL 137048 233126 139387 72608 582169

Table 1: Australian malting barley exports from October 2021 to May 2022. Source: ABS

FEED Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr May Tonnes
Canada 0 33000 33000 29962 95962
Ecuador 13947 0 0 0 13947
Hong Kong 12 12 12 12 48
India 435 495 0 0 930
Iran 0 33533 32467 0 66000
Japan 297785 169828 95066 100332 663011
Jordan 63000 323000 81800 32200 500000
Kuwait 81733 118984 0 123916 324633
Macau 5 0 0 0 5
Malaysia 725 442 0 2 1169
Mexico 31576 0 0 0 31576
Myanmar 0 242 230 0 472
Netherlands 0 41749 0 0 41749
New Caledonia 994 472 216 198 1880
New Zealand 5800 5000 0 0 10800
Oman 34767 0 0 11000 45767
Papua New Guinea 300 25 25 0 350
Philippines 231176 150105 825 14623 396729
Qatar 110050 76800 52500 0 239350
Saudi Arabia 748319 833280 238749 269234 2089582
Singapore 802 1204 2 976 2984
South Korea 18294 2317 904 1550 23065
Spain 4 0 0 0 4
Taiwan 9821 13006 3583 4006 30416
Thailand 66137 32193 1007 0 99337
UAE 54130 85779 32450 43137 215496
Vietnam 130391 31453 51294 5856 218994
TOTAL 1900203 1952919 624130 637004 5114256

Table 2: Australian feed barley exports from October 2021 to May 2022. Source: ABS

SORGHUM Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Apr May Tonnes
China 415171 196374 189299 231315 1032159
Fiji 0 0 0 1 1
Japan 44190 200 43 65031 109464
Malaysia 24 0 0 0 24
Philippines 4057 4565 2229 3204 14055
South Korea 48 86 25 0 159
Taiwan 5504 2018 2872 3209 13603
Tanzania 0 0 4308 1710 6018
United Kingdom 0 0 24 0 24
TOTAL 468994 203243 198800 304470 1175507

Table 3: Australian sorghum exports from October 2021 to May 2022. Source: ABS

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