On-the-Ground Updates

UK: Barley demand expected to rebound in 2021, and the spring variety estimates set a recover for premiums

United Kingdom
Market & Price Trends
Caio Alves
Published Dec 10, 2020
Malting barley premiums are estimated to go higher into the new year, as it should be rebounding lockdowns and a steep fall in spring barley drillings for the upcoming campaign. Feed barley premiums have slumped from £10 to £12/mt, due to the drop in demand from the maltsters and a massive spring barley crop area supply of more than 1M hectares this year.

Worth mentioning prices and premiums are heavily dependent on the demand for feed barley, and with 85% of UK feed barley exports going to the European Union, estimates and attention should be on a trade deal being agreed with the union by the end of 2020.

When it comes to domestic demand, UK maltsters consume about 1.9M tonnes of malting barley annually as feedstock, but once covid-19 started biting in March, monthly average purchases went down by a third, one trader pointed out.

According to AHDB Early Bird survey, it has been revealed that 767,000ha of spring barley in deemed for 2021, down from 1.096M hectares in 2020. The report also points a reduced spring barley area all across Europe, except in Denmark. On UK variety preferrence, Laureate comes into pole position with 50% of the English and Scottish crop, of which it should remains that way. The variety accounts for 43~44% malsters purchases for the malting quality.
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