July 5, 2016

The highlights of the past two weeks include firming European barley values due to concerns over disease pressure from continued rains.  Meanwhile Western Canada received very timely rains and warm weather to advance crops toward an optimistic outcome.   Australian barley areas have mostly received good rains with the exception of South Queensland and Northern New South Wales.  Prices have been steady as there has been some Chinese demand.

Continued rains in central Europe (France) have resulted in disease issues (fusarium) and lodging of winter barley stands.  There are fears that fusarium may also be prevalent in spring barley as conditions were wet during flowering.   Heavy rains in Germany have also raised similar concerns.  Even if the fusarium problems are not as severe as some expect, protein levels will undoubtedly be on the low side.  Rains in Eastern Europe have been substantial but in a positive way as the crops are now looking good after a dry start.  Spain is looking forward to their best barley harvest in years as production could hit 8 million tonnes.   UK weather conditions have been positive and the barley crop is progressing well.  Their market is also firming due to concerns over the French crop.  Conditions in Denmark continue to be much too dry with yields now projected to be below average and protein levels higher than average.  The latter point might actually be beneficial to counter the low proteins of the central European crop.  Overall, farmers are hesitant sellers of new crop while the trade is looking to get some coverage.

Argentina barley seeding is in its early stages after wet weather delayed the soybean and corn harvests.  We still expect the barley area will still be down dramatically as the export tax system makes wheat more attractive to grow and sell.

The Black Sea (Russia/Ukraine) barley crop is looking much better as recent warm dry conditions replaced excessive rains.  The spring crop is looking especially good while the winter crop has suffered some problems.

Conditions continue to be excellent in the U.S. barley growing states.   Crop advancement exceeds the five year average and the crop ratings have a high percentage in the “good to excellent” category.  Rainfall amounts have been ideal and the irrigated areas have sufficient water supplies.

Western Canada has received very beneficial rainfall and relatively warm temperatures which have advanced the crop.  Private production forecasts have increased the crop size to near 9 million tonnes.   A large percentage of the crop is now classified as good to excellent.  Domestic feed barley values have been steady as pasture conditions slowly recover.