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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com
13 June, 2017

Barley news Australia: Australia selling out its barley stocks at record rates

Australia may soon have to hang “sold out” signs on canola and barley, with a strong exports over the past nine months whittling away big crops, the Weekly Times Now reported on June 13.

Grain industry analyst Lachstock Consulting has forecast barley stocks at the end of the 2016-17 season in September to be about 330,000 tonnes, or 3 per cent of annual consumption — the lowest level in more than seven years.

This was despite Australian growers producing the biggest barley crop on record — estimated by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences last February to be 13.4 million tonnes.

Canola stocks at September 30 have been tipped by Lachstock Consulting to be 276,000 tonnes, or 7 per cent of consumption.

Canola growers produced a 4.1 million tonne crop last harvest — one of the largest ­recorded.

Lachstock estimated 3.1 million tonnes of canola would be exported by the end of September, with the remainder crushed domestically.

Already more than 2.6 million tonnes of canola seed have been shipped.

Australian Oilseeds Federation executive officer Nick Goddard said canola exports were “very hot to trot straight after harvest”.

Europe is Australia’s prime market for canola, with ­traders traditionally trying to conclude sales before the Euro­pean crop is harvested in July.

Mr Goddard said traders were probably expecting a softening in prices due to high global soyabean stocks.

“But prices were firm (during the year),” he said.

Lachstock consultant Lachlan Hume said he would be surprised if there were any bulk shipments of canola ­beyond this month, with exports likely to be limited to container loads.

Mr Hume said the biggest movement in grain prices was for barley, where prices for malting quality grain have risen by about A$25 a tonne to A$200 a tonne in the past four weeks.

While ABARES forecast the crop at 13.4 million tonnes, Lachstock estimates last year’s harvest production at 11.4 million tonnes.

About 7.8 million tonnes is expected to be exported.

Lachstock is tipping Australia will export 4.9 million tonnes of barley in 2016-17 to its biggest market, China.

Barley prices may firm in the coming year, with Lachstock forecasting global supplies to fall to about 18.7 million tonnes.

The world traditionally holds about 23-29 million tonnes in carry-over stocks in a normal year.


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