Australia: Barley harvest commences with encouraging quality and yield results
Barley harvest has commenced in northern New South Wales (and Queensland) and is moving south into central New South Wales with some barley harvested in Western Australia, RMI Analytics said in their latest report published in early November.
Quality and yield results are encouraging, with a high proportion being malting quality, local sources report.
On the basis of the early harvest results, a minor increase in crop production to 13 mln tonnes from 12.8 mln is estimated.
Final barley quality is a key factor left to be verified as harvest advances. The weather has cooperated in the past two weeks. Although not a major concern at the moment, prolonged rain would start to bring quality concerns to the forefront.
Barley prices have drifted a bit higher, despite a weakening AUG (versus USD), further validating that prices are well-supported. End-users globally are considering Australia as alternative supply option to help alleviate barley deficits and/or liquidity challenges.
The domestic malting and brewing industry should have ample malting barley to select from if weather cooperates.
On the export front, port congestion amidst a strong export program for wheat and canola is limiting the export options for barley. Terminal capacity appears to be mostly booked already through Q1 2022.
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