China is going to be an extremely important market for Australia’s agricultural produce. That’s a given. In grains, it will increase it’s importance again after removing the barley tariffs.
Let’s first look at barley. Imports of barley have been strong this year, so far 5.8mmt has been important versus 3.8mmt for the same time last year. Imports were, however down in July month on month. The imports for this years are already higher than last year.
The second chart shows the annual imports of barley into China in recent years.
We have seen some huge years of imports, with none of it coming from Australia. There are boats on the water and we will supply a small amount this year but if China continues with its strong overall demand, Australia will be in the driving seat.
It isn’t just barley; they have also been sucking up a lot of wheat and corn. The volumes they are importing are huge, and if the talk of the floods is correct, then we could continue to see strong imports through the coming year.