Indonesia's H1 2016 wheat imports rise 58% on year to 5.69 mil mt


Indonesia imported 5.69 million mt of wheat over January-June 2016, up 57.5% year on year, data released by Statistics Indonesia showed Wednesday.

In June, Indonesia imported 902,778 mt of wheat, down 13% from May, but up 38.07% from the previous year.

Indonesia is the world's second largest wheat importer after Egypt, and imported a record volume of 9.9 million mt for full-year 2015, according to US Department of Agriculture.

Australian wheat accounted for 36.3% of the wheat imported by Indonesia in first-half 2016 at 2.07 million mt, but its market share in the country was nearly halved from the same period last year. In H1 2015, Australian wheat accounted for 68.6% of the imports.

In June, Australian wheat imports rose 16.8% month on month, but fell 32.2% year on year.

Traders attributed lower year-on-year Australian wheat imports to uncompetitive pricing against other major exporters like Ukraine.

Ukrainian wheat accounted for 14.9% of total wheat imports in H1 2016 at 845,579 mt -- this was up 17.4% year on year. Last year, Ukrainian wheat accounted for just 1.9%, data showed.

In June, wheat imports from Ukraine fell 13.5% month on month to 183,833 mt, but were sharply higher from the 1,010 mt imported in June 2015.

Millers attributed increased volumes of Ukrainian wheat imports into Indonesia to higher cost savings -- Ukrainian wheat was at least $20-$30/mt cheaper than Australian wheat, inclusive of freight.

The quality of Ukrainian wheat had also improved from last year, they said.

However, as freight rates for long-haul voyages typically spike towards the year-end and with Australian wheat prices seen lower this week, some millers expect cost savings from Ukrainian origins to narrow to $15/mt for cargoes arriving towards end 2016 or early 2017.

Meanwhile, wheat imports from Canada over January-June were at 870,280 mt, up 13.6% from H1 2015, data showed.

In June, wheat imports from Canada were at 209,182 mt, up 27.7% from May and 14.4% from June 2015, amid competitive pricing and cheaper freight.

Wheat shipments from the US over January-June were at 405,475 mt, up 71.2% year on year.

In June, Indonesia imported 116,052 mt of wheat from the US, up 33.4% month on month and sharply higher than the 118 mt imported in June 2015, the data showed.

Traders attributed higher volumes from the US to lower prices, given a higher surplus nearer the end of the wheat marketing season in US.

Australian Premium White wheat was assessed unchanged day on day at $205/mt FOB Western Australia Tuesday.

This is the lowest it has been since S&P Global Platts started assessing APW in November 2015.


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