Australia shipped 544,143 tonnes of barley to China in May, up from 484,302t in April, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which puts May exports to all destinations at 746,186t, behind only March at 1 million tonnes in the 2017-18 shipping year.
A fire at United Ethanol’s Dalby Bio-Refinery on 31 May has not affected its intake of grain, or output of wet and dried distillers grain, the by-products of ethanol production which are consumed by the dairy, pork and feedlot sectors.
Australia is estimated to produce 1.4 million tonnes of sorghum from the harvest now drawing to a close in Central Queensland, signalling the end of a growing season marked by challenging conditions in most areas.
China was the destination for 89 per cent of all barley and sorghum exported by Australia in April, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Australia’s 2017-18 grain exports have peaked in the current quarter, supported by big tonnages out of South and Western Australia which have offset a drought-affected export program from eastern states.
The United States Grains Council has welcomed the announcement last Friday that China had terminated its anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases on US origin sorghum and revoked preliminary duties on its import.
The feedgrain market centred on southern Queensland is believed to have peaked this week at $400 per tonne now that grain being shipped from southern Australian ports to Brisbane is trading at the same levels as wheat and barley sourced up-country.
China has reopened its doors to sorghum from the United States, and dropped its anti-dumping inquiry into the market, in a move which has pleased China’s sorghum consumers, according to news from Reuters out of Beijing.
China’s sudden application of a charge on imports of US sorghum highlights the fragility of US-China trade relations. This week’s article from COFCO explains how the possible fallout may affect Australia.
Values for Australian sorghum have jumped in response to continuing dry conditions, and China’s snubbing US sorghum as the latest move in the bilateral trade dispute.