E-Malt.com News article: Canada & USA: Barley acreage expected to only increase in Canada this year
Canadian barley exports in August-February 2017/18 were 1.358 mln tonnes, of which 1.022 mln to China. Canadian malting barley remains very popular with the Chinese brewing industry, H. M. Gauger Gmb reported on March 29.
The nationís total barley exports are forecast to reach 1.6 mln tonnes; at present old and new crop barley (USD 265,- to 275,- FOB Pacific ports) are uncompetitive.
The smaller crop of 7.9 mln tonnes in 2017 and large malting barley exports led to an unprecedented shortage of feed barley in the Prairies, particularly in South Alberta. Barley prices rose to all-time highs and the traditional barley feeding country had to rely on massive corn imports.
Experts believe that good prices will entice farmers to grow more barley in 2018. Early estimates are for an acreage of 2.5 vs. 2.35 mln ha last year.
For the US, the USDA prospective barley planting report of March 29 was a surprise. Instead of an expected increase, the US barley acreage will drop from 1.0 mln to 0.925 mln ha this year. If yields equal those of last year, the production would be 2.85 mln tonnes (last year 3.1).
The U.S. malting capacity is 2.67 mln tonnes, equal to a theoretical barley demand of 3.34 mln tonnes. Maltsters had again reduced their growing contracts with farmers. End of season stocks, 1.3 mln tonnes this year, will be reduced further. It is also likely that malt production will be below capacity and that barley imports from Canada will fill any gaps.
14 April, 2018