Production

Sorghum is a summer crop used mainly for livestock feed. In 2015, sorghum production is forecast at 1.3 million tons, 21 per cent above the previous year. The area planted is expected to rise by 8 per cent to 532,000 hectares if more normal rains occur over the growing period. In this case, sorghum yields are likely to recover to 2.5 tons per hectare. However, there is uncertainty in forecasting due to seasonal variations. Over the last two years, output has been revised down significantly due to poorer than expected rainfall and the impact of drought. Further, harvesting occurs mid-year and could be reported in either financial year.

Australia normally produces around two to three per cent of global sorghum and accounts for five per cent of global exports. Sixty per cent of the Australian crop is grown in Queensland and the remainder in northern NSW. Planting times are from September to January and sorghum is classified as either grain sorghum or forage sorghum according to the tannin content. Grain sorghum is often used for feed grain for the beef, dairy, pig and poultry industries and is the main summer grain crop in most regions of Queensland. The grain, stalks and leaves are all used for animal feeding products.

Exports

In 2015, sorghum exports are forecast to decline to around 500,000 tons, significantly lower than earlier forecasts. Higher demand and domestic prices for feed grains will contribute to lower exports. China is Australia's largest export market for grain sorghum due to rising use of grain sorghum in animal feed and liquor production in that country

Sorghum

2012/2013

2013/2014

2014/2015

Market Begin Year

Mar 2012

Mar 2013

Mar 2014

Australia

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

648

648

493

493

660

532

Beginning Stocks

230

230

195

195

147

100

Production

2,230

2,230

1,107

1,110

2,000

1,340

MY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

2,460

2,460

1,302

1,305

2,147

1,440

MY Exports

1,160

1,160

350

550

800

500

TY Exports

1,425

1,425

405

600

800

500

Feed and Residual

1,100

1,100

800

650

1,200

800

FSI Consumption

5

5

5

5

5

5

Total Consumption

1,105

1,105

805

655

1,205

805

Ending Stocks

195

195

147

100

142

135

Total Distribution

2,460

2,460

1,302

1,305

2,147

1,440

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA