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Australia's lentil harvest pressures prices

Updated Jan 12, 2023
Southern Australia’s lentil harvest has advanced rapidly in the past month and better-than-expected yields are putting supply-side pressure on prices. Faba beans are finding little love in the export market but are in solid demand from domestic stockfeed millers, while bulk chickpea business has dropped off now that Bangladeshi buying for pre-Ramadan delivery has wound down.
Mungbean planting is yet to start in earnest in Queensland, and many growers are waiting for rain to wet the topsoil. A bulk-export program to Bangladesh has absorbed most of the better-quality chickpeas harvested in recent months, while finance problems at destination have limited volume into container markets. Up to five cargoes of around 20,000-30,000t each are expected to arrive in Bangladesh from Queensland ports ahead of Ramadan next month, with two already shipped. Trade sources report the market is otherwise in the doldrums. Grain Trend director Sanjiv Dubey said raising US dollars to pay for containerised deliveries remains a problem for buyers in Pakistan in particular, and trade has thinned. “Quality is all over the place; markets are all over the place,” Mr Dubey said. While business is still being written, Australian exporters are being cautious to minimise their exposure to counterparties struggling to open letters of credit. This is despite food being a priority for ...
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