EU: Barley markets weaker in June thanks to good crop prospects
EU barley markets were weaker in June, reflecting good crop prospects and a lack of buying interest, by local industries and export markets, H. M. Gauger GmbH said in their July report earlier this month.
China had been absent from the French market since April. Any market activities were handled by the trade, farmers and coops did not sell new crop barley.
The premium of malting above feed barley does not cover the selection and handling cost plus quality risk. In quite a few EU countries the interest in growing malting barley has diminished since years, and the process continues. In bad crop years industries are forced to pay correct prices for malting barley, but in good crop years prices are pushed down and quality terms are strictly applied. 50 - 75% of malting barley in the EU are traded against long-term agreements (LTAs). At present, only a minority of the LTAs barley portions are priced.
If empty grain stores, industry and export purchases come together at or after harvest, markets may react upwards. A sharp downtrend is unlikely because of firm feed markets. Not to forget, world malting barley markets look firm in absence of North American offers.