AUSTRALIA shipped 1.17 million tonnes of wheat in January, down 16 per cent from 1.4Mt in December, according to export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Five Middle East customers — Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Yemen — all took bulk cargoes in January, supplementing demand from Asia and the Pacific.
“Countries like Kuwait and Iraq have a generally inelastic demand for wheat, so it is nothing out of the ordinary for us to do a few cargoes early in the season to these destinations,” Market Check head of strategy, Nick Crundall, said.
Indonesia’s bulk imports of Australian wheat in January at 217,690t were 27pc below the December figure of 299,551t .
“Wheat exports to Indonesia are showing that Australian exports to this region aren’t as inelastic as once thought, with millers illustrating their ability to switch out of Aussie origin into Russian when the spreads warrant such a move.
“It would suggest our exports into Southeast Asia will continue to lag through the season as we maintain a healthy premium over Russian wheat into the region.
“If we dig deeper, Indonesia is leading the charge in switching out of Australian origin as they become more comfortable with Black Sea quality and consistency of supply.
“This is going to be an ongoing issue for Australia as millers continually improve the value proposition of using Black Sea wheat over Australian.”
Table 1: ABS data showing Australia’s containerised wheat exports, including revised December 2017 figures.
|Papua New Guinea||120||796||574||1490|
Table 2: ABS data showing Australia’s bulk wheat exports, including revised December 2017 figures.
|Papua New Guinea||22000||17600||22000||61600|
|United Arab Emirates||35987||0||34300||70287|