In W38 in the barley landscape, global barley production for the 2023/24 season is estimated at approximately 140 million metric tons (mmt), the lowest output since the 2018/19 campaign. This decline is mainly attributed to reduced yields in five of the six largest barley-exporting countries. Notably, Argentina is the exception, with an expected increase in production to about 4.4 mmt to 4.6 mmt. However, major barley-producing countries like Canada, the European Union (EU), Ukraine, Russia, and Australia face challenges that will likely result in decreased production volumes and reduced global market share.
The recent lifting of Chinese tariffs on Australian barley led to a swift resumption of shipments to China, with over 1 mmt of new season barley business secured. While China is a primary destination, Australia has also diversified its markets, securing positions in Thailand, Japan, Mexico, and Peru. Australian barley shipments to these new markets are expected to continue despite the resolution of the Australia-China trade conflict.
Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture estimates the barley planting area at 1.15 million hectares (ha) in the 2023/24 season. The country is expected to produce about 4.4 mmt to 4.6 mmt during the season. However, certain regions are still affected by drought. The focus is on barley crop nutrition and health, particularly given nitrogen deficiencies and disease incidence. Strategies for optimal barley yield and protein content are being formulated. However, experts indicate that it's essential to monitor and promptly address disease outbreaks, especially network stains, and to consider the application of biostimulants for frost-damaged crops. These measures are anticipated to be vital in ensuring a successful 2023/24 barley campaign.
Lastly, barley prices declined in the Russian market in W38, albeit at a slower pace than wheat. Nevertheless, barley grains traded at nearly USD 10.35 per metric ton (mt) below the calculated parity level. Free-on-board (FOB) prices followed a downward trend, mirroring the situation in the wheat market. This circumstance indicates reduced Russian barley demand, evident from the declining shipment volumes for Sep-23. Experts anticipate Russian barley exports to fall by half by the end of Sep-23, following two consecutive record shipments in Jul-23 and Aug-23 when more than 1 mmt was shipped in each month. Experts also forecast a continuous diminishing demand until the end of 2023, maintaining downward pressure on the ruble price of barley at its current discounted levels.