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CNA: China Cancels or Delays Purchase of One Million Tons of Australian Wheat

Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that China has cancelled or postponed about one million tons of Australian wheat imports and about 500,000 tons of U.S. wheat imports.

Farmers are currently in a cycle of overproduction, and global wheat prices are falling, reaching their lowest point in three and a half years. China, the world’s largest wheat importer, canceled or postponed wheat purchase plans for the end of last year and early this year, anticipating the falling prices.

A Singapore-based commodities trader who sells wheat to Asian countries said that Chinese buyers have canceled some Australian wheat transactions and have delayed shipments from the first quarter to the second and third quarters. Another trader said that trading companies have canceled previously-scheduled shipments at Australian ports that were originally scheduled for transport to China. Since the beginning of this year, the volume for wheat futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has fallen by more than 14 percent, reaching the lowest trading volume since August of 2020.

Australia accounts for 10-15 percent of the global wheat trade of 100 million tons per year. The Australian wheat industry is mainly export-oriented, with 65-75 percent of the country’s total output sold to more than 50 countries around the world. Australia is China’s third largest wheat supplier, following the United States and Canada.

Source: CNA, March 14, 2024