EU: Barley production, exports expected to increase in 2018/19
As per the EU barley balance sheet of March 23, 2018, the EU-28 barley area in 2018/19 is forecast at 12.209 mln ha vs. 12.105 mln in 2017/18, H. M. Gauger GmbH said in their latest report at the end of March.
Opening stocks are seen at 5.884 mln tonnes (5.632 mln in 2017/18), production at 61.431 mln (58.746), and domestic consumption at 50.365 mln (50.993 in 2017/18).
Experts expect EU barley exports (including malt in grain equivalent) to amount to 10.488 mln tonnes in the coming season (8 mln tonnes forecast for season 2017/18).
Ending stocks are forecast at 6.735 mln tonnes vs. 5.884 mln in 2017/18.
The EU domestic barley markets developed in various directions. Feed usage and exports (4.333 mln tonnes, up 8%) have been strong, nevertheless the tightness of supplies is a surprise and may be explained by larger feed use and lower carry-over stocks.
Winter malting barley markets are firmer, supported by the good demand for feed barley. New crop spring barley quotes are higher, in view of difficult spring planting conditions. Old crop two-row spring barley prices started to slide down early in the year, by now they have almost reached the levels of feed barley, especially in Denmark. The industry, barely covered, abstained from buying. There were too many second hand long-holders of Danish and English barley for Jan-March shipment. They were instrumental for the continuous fall of prices. As the clean-up is finished by now, markets start to recover a bit, albeit at low levels.
One region, South Germany and the Czech Republic, never saw lower prices. Supplies of quality barley were short, purchases from France and Denmark had to fill the holes, at a high cost of transportation, industry sources report.
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