Cropping

Pakistan on 7858t Australia’s main chickpea market in September

Liz Wells, February 15, 2019

AUSTRALIA’S chickpea exports dropped to a new low of recent times at 15,023 tonnes in September, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Retail pulses in Pakistan: Photo: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Pakistan was the biggest market for the month, taking 7858t.

Nepal on 2289t and the United Arab Emirates on 2033t were Australia’s second and third-biggest September chickpea markets respectively.

The September tonnage has dropped 47 per cent from the August figure, and 85pc below the 98,791t shipped in September last year, prior to December, when India a tariff on imported chickpeas to support domestic prices.

Meanwhile, prices for chickpeas in Australia have rallied, as traders look to cover their positions for shipments up to February, mostly to Pakistan for arrival before Ramadan.

Prices for prompt delivery to Darling Downs packers are heading for $850 per tonne, and were expected to rise as shorts, some caused by the recent collapse of Special One Grain, looked to cover commitments.

“It goes to show how little product there is,” another trader said.

“People have sold to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, and traders who are short are scrambling.”

Traders said prices have risen by as much as $100/t in the past month.

One trader said India’s neighbours were “bemused” that Australian prices were so high without their volume buyer in the market.

“The markets look to India for direction, and it’s not giving us any,” another trader said.

“India has been buying chickpeas, but only from WTO-exempt countries like Tanzania and Myanmar, which are not subject to tariffs.”

“Our buyers think our prices should be falling and they are not.

“We are an island of high prices because of the east-coast drought, and growers aren’t selling.”

 

Destination July August September Tonnes
Bangladesh 2024 0 0 2024
Canada 463 693 618 1774
Chile 25 0 0 25
Egypt 200 50 0 250
India 0 482 369 851
Japan 20 4 21 45
Jordan 49 0 0 49
Korea 0 6 0 6
Lebanon 0 0 3 3
Malaysia 92 23 22 137
Mauritius 0 0 98 98
Nepal 479 4782 2289 7549
Netherlands 123 0 0 123
New Zealand 30 8 24 61
Pakistan 19910 14598 7858 42366
Papua New Guinea 0 0 1 1
Portugal 0 0 750 750
Singapore 0 49 24 73
South Africa 0 49 49 97
Spain 25 50 50 125
Sri Lanka 24 149 0 174
Thailand 21 9 24 54
Turkey 25 0 0 25
UAE 955 5745 2033 8734
UK 573 762 632 1967
US 44 123 83 249
Vietnam 150 0 0 150
Yemen 0 100 75 175
TOTAL 25231 27680 15023 67934

Table 1: ABS chickpea export data for July, August and September 2018.

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