Weekly Product Updates

W33: Barley Update

Published Aug 25, 2023

In W33 in the barley landscape, RMI Analytics adjusted the global barley crop forecast downwards from 138.7 million metric tons (mmt) to 138 mmt in 2023. Notably, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) are expected to witness a reduction of 0.1 mmt due to a smaller barley harvest in the UK and lowered forecasts in Denmark and Sweden. Canada's barley harvest is forecasted to be 1 mmt lower due to Southern Prairie drought impacts.

Conversely, Argentina's barley harvest is expected to increase by 0.1 mmt to 4.6 mmt. Australia's barley harvest is also estimated to increase by 0.2 mmt to 10.8 mmt due to favorable rainfall. European harvesting delays, mainly due to heavy rains, raise concerns about barley quality in the UK and Denmark. This further global reduction in the expected barley crop, already 14 mmt below 2022 levels, is anticipated to impact barley prices. France and Canada's barley prices are rising. Notably, quality malted barley premium in France increased to nearly USD 140 per metric ton (mt), reflecting concerns about availability.

The barley market trend in Russia coincided with the wheat market in W33, with prices stabilizing against export parity. The Russian barley demand from importers contributed to a recovery from Jun-23 to Jul-23, lows of around USD 170/mt. However, the disparity in comparison to European or Australian barley prices remained considerable, leading to heightened interest in the Russian supply. Experts expect a gradual increase in Russian barley Free On Board (FOB) prices and a reduction in the discount relative to barley from other origins over the next six weeks.

In Ukraine, the feed barley buying prices lingered at a lower level of USD 145/mt for shipment to Danube ports in W33. Meanwhile, malting barley prices increased to range from USD 163.37/mt to USD 190.59/mt, depending on the quality for factory delivery. In 2022, Ukrainian barley prices reached USD 150/mt to USD 160/mt amidst the backdrop of Black Sea port blockades. Prices sought for deliveries to the Constanta port stood at USD 185/mt in W33, lower than the 2022 level, ranging from USD 238.99/mt to USD 271.58/mt delivered-at-place (DAP). Malting facilities entered forward contracts for malting barley supply, leading to more just-in-time purchases. 2023 witnessed favorable weather conditions during spring barley harvesting, resulting in commendable quality.

APK-Inform reports that Kazakhstan significantly expanded its barley cultivation area, with the 2023 sown area reaching 2.55 million hectares (ha). This indicates a notable increase of almost 17% compared to the 2022 area of 2.19 million ha. The top three regions driving this growth are Akmola with 557.4 thousand ha, North Kazakhstan with 507.4 thousand ha, and Kostanay with approximately 380 thousand ha. According to spring registration data, the barley sowing areas expanded across all regions in Kazakhstan, except for Almaty and Zhambyl regions.

Lastly, China lifted its punitive tariffs on imported Australian barley in early Aug-23, prompting the resumption of barley imports from Australia. Traders have already placed orders for at least four Australian barley shipments, scheduled for shipping from Sep-23 to Oct-23. Reports suggest that Australian barley for animal feed is priced at USD 280/mt to USD 300/mt, notably lower than China's domestic corn price of around USD 400/mt. This pricing advantage favors Australian supply. These developments signal a potential comeback in trade between the two countries.

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