September 14, 2016

With much of barley harvested in Europe, analysts are revising production forecasts lower along with estimates of available malting barley supplies. On August 26th the EC released updated forecasts lowering the barley crop to 59 mln tonnes versus their July forecast of 62.1 mln tonnes (60.7 in 2015).  Barley across much of France and Germany is reported to have disappointing yields and test weights, with the winter crop in France particularly hard hit.

In Canada the barley harvest is approximately 50% complete with early indications of variable quality.  On August 26th Statistics Canada raised its projections of Canadian barley production to 8.7 mln tonnes from its previous forecast of 8.2 mln tonnes, however private forecasts put the crop at 9-9.5 mln tonnes.

In the US the barley harvest is almost finished, well ahead of normal. Higher yields than last year will offset some of the drop in seeded acreage however total production is still projected to fall to around 4.1 mln tonnes compared with 4.7 mln tonnes in 2015.

In Argentina barley seeding is nearly complete with area projected to be down significantly from last year as rain prevented producers from seeding. The Argentine barley crop is projected by the USDA to drop significantly to only 3.0 mln tonnes compared with 4.9 mln tonnes in 2015.

Recent rains in Australia have improved crop conditions setting the stage for another good crop in 2016 with projections for barley output at over 9 mln tonnes compared with 8.6 mln tonnes in 2015.

In the Black Sea (Russia/Ukraine) barley harvests have gone relatively well with output up year over year.  UkrAgroConsult is projecting Russia’s barley crop at nearly 18 mln tonnes compared with 17.4 mln tonnes in 2015, and Ukraine at 8.9 mln tonnes of barley versus 8.25 mln last year.