Australian grain competitive on world stage


AUSTRALIA’S record grain exporting run is not solely due to the massive levels of production for the 2016-17 season according to David Johnson, chief executive of Emerald Grain.

“The production is there, sure, but there has to be demand.”

“Currently, the prices on offer in Australia are more than competitive on the world stage and that is attracting that buyer demand allowing grain exporters to execute deals.”

He said China and India had been stand out destinations for Australian grain so far.

“China has been a keen buyer of Australian feed barley and is providing much of the demand in key barley exporting port zones,” he said.

“India had a production shortfall last year which meant they were very active buyers of Australian wheat early on, although that has calmed down a little now.”

Mr Johnson said Australian barley was also now going into the Middle East, while traditional markets in south-east Asia are providing support for wheat sellers.

Jock Carter, Newcastle Agri Terminal executive director, said the focus at his facility was now on traditional south-eastern Asian markets after an early flurry of activity exporting to India.

“We are price competitive into those key south-east Asian markets and that is where a lot of the wheat is going.”

However, he said there were other destinations.

“We put together a 38,000 tonne cargo of durum wheat which is headed to Italy,” he said.

Mr Johnson said he anticipated buyers would be able to source sufficient stocks, even though farmers have indicated they are unwilling sellers at current values.

“There is not much chance of dramatic price movement in the short term and as long as we remain competitively priced I think we will continue to attract support for exports.”


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