South Australian barley shipped to Qld feedlot market

Liz Wells, 14/11/2017

The Loch Maree delivers a load of South Australian barley to Brisbane.


A 23,000-tonne cargo of South Australian barley is being discharged into trucks on a Brisbane wharf this week, and trade sources say the grain will be absorbed by feedlots on the Darling Downs and malting grain customers.

The vessel, the Loch Maree, sailed from Viterra’s Port Adelaide facility, and docked in Brisbane late last week.

“That grain would have been booked in August and September, when people thought high-quality milling wheat was going to be coming off in Queensland, and the market wasn’t expecting weather-damaged grain that’s turned up,” one trader said.

Another source agreed, saying Queensland was then paying a high enough premium over south-eastern Australian feedgrain markets to justify getting it to Brisbane by ship instead of road.

“The spread from south to north was more attractive on barley than wheat, so that’s why it would have worked.”

Such interstate shipments of feedgrain are rare, but not unheard of – especially during times of price disparity north and south, caused by seasons. High rates of feedgrain use this year (see today’s report on the September quarter feedlot survey) has added pressure for feedgrain demand in Queensland, in a year where winter cereal harvest has been disappointing.

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