World: EU malt industry fully employed, this years problem is barley quality
The EU malt industry is presently fully employed and will not face a problem of capacity use, unless the 4th wave of corona leads to new lockdowns. This years problem is barley. The harvest is late and still not complete. French and German barleys show poor test weights and screenings, malt parameters may be affected. Luckily qualities are better in Great Britain and Denmark, H. M. Gauger GmbH said in their September report.
The short crop has led to sky-high prices, and at present, to a complete absence of sellers. There are brewers, who have not covered neither malt capacity nor barley, also those, who have long-term agreements but have not priced the barley part of their contracts. Percentages of the open barley cover range from 20 to 50%. Brewers, who waited for the usual price pressure during or after harvest, have been trapped this year without much hope of relief until next year at the earliest.
Canadian and U.S. maltsters are confronted with even larger problems, small crops with partly unusable qualities. China cannot find enough quality barley from their limited sources of supply. Therefore malt exports from other suppliers (EU, Australia, Argentina, Eastern Europe) should increase, provided an almost normal year of beer consumption. Container freight rates are incredibly high, but the demand must be filled.
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