Malting barley supplies tight in Australia & Canada

April 25, 2016

Malting barley supplies in Australia are relatively tight this year given smaller than average selection rates from the 2015 crop. A dry, hot finish during last year’s harvest negatively impacted crop quality.  Currently conditions are quite dry in Australia which may favour barley plantings over other crops such as canola.

In Canada there will be virtually no malting barley carry over this year after two consecutive years of poor harvest weather resulting below average supplies in both 2014 and 2015.  However Statistics Canada recently projected barley area to rise in 2016, likely the result of good expected returns for  malting barley, though many areas in Western Canada are dry with rains needed in coming weeks.

In the EU malting barley supplies are sufficient given last year’s large crop, although some lower grades may have been absorbed into the feed barley market where strong export sales have narrowed the premium for malt quality.  Barley export licenses issued by the EU reached 8.1 mln tonnes last week, 1.2 mln tonnes ahead of last year. Spring seeding is advancing well and the winter crop is in good condition.

In the US, a large carry over from last year’s excellent crop has meant lower contracting this year. This will result in a smaller area seeded to malting barley with existing carry over stocks expected to make up the difference in the event of lower production.  Barley seeding progress is reportedly close to the 5-year average.