UK: AHDB looks at Covid-19 impact on malting barley demand
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK looked at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on malting barley demand again last week.
The AHDB estimates that there was 84,000 tonnes of lost demand from brewing. Some distilleries closed temporarily in the UK to put in suitable social distancing measures, while others reduced production, but the AHDB report states its hard to know how much demand was lost from distilling.
In England, hospitality businesses could possibly reopen on July 4, but this is subject to change. The timeline for re-opening in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is of yet unknown.
The AHDB expects the amount of malting barley needed for brewing for the food-service sector to be reduced in the early months of the 2020/2021 season (which starts in July) at least, but stated that demand is all dependent on how the virus circulates and spreads, and what impact the predicted global recession has on beer consumption, both in the UK and overseas.
The UK estimates that for each week the hospitality sector remains closed it could mean in the region of 5,000 tonnes of lost demand for malting barley.
Approximately 13% of malt produced in the UK is exported. July to March exports of malt were down 11% on the same period in 2018/2019. It should be noted that a 6% decrease had already been reported from July to December.
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