World: Barley markets passive for some time with China absent from them
World barley markets have been passive for some time. China, the world's largest buyer, has been absent from markets, which must have induced all other importers to follow the same tactics, H. M. Gauger GmbH reported earlier this month.
China buys much corn, replacing failed deliveries from Ukraine, but also because it is cheaper than feed barley. Chinese barley imports in January-March were 1.7 mln tonnes; assumed annual needs are 10.5 mln tonnes, of which at least 3.5 mln tonnes of malting barley. Argentina, Canada, and France will concentrate their export efforts on China, while Australia will dominate the other Asian and Mideast markets.
As per USDA prognosis, the Mideast and Mediterranean will need 15 - 16 mln tonnes of feed barley. Tight supplies of the 2021 crop have led to favourable prices for barley compared to wheat and corn, it is questionable whether such a price relation can be maintained during the crop year 2022/23.
At first glance enough malting barley will be available in the large producer countries, but there is always the risk that good barleys flow off into the feed sector, if the malting premium is too small, the analysts said.
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