This is why barley is extremely rare and expensive – and what China has to do with it

This is why barley is extremely rare and expensive - and what China has to do with it

According to EU Commission data, France has sold around 1.9 million tonnes of barley in the current fiscal year. This means that barley exports can also surpass China’s high French wheat exports.

Germany has so far exported 890,000 tonnes of barley and Romania has sold 870,000 tonnes to third countries – mainly to traditional buyers Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria and Morocco. French barley sales to China are also estimated to be up to 2 million tonnes for next year. Canada shipped 1.5 million tonnes of barley to China from August to December, similar to last season’s total, official data show.

In any case, the export premium for the new French crop increased sharply when it became known that exporters were already covering part of their prior sales to China. This has temporarily pushed up prices for barley to the level of bread wheat in France.

Barley from Europe and Canada will remain important for feed supplies in China in the new year, as higher tariffs for Australian barley will not be eliminated explicitly. For example, analysts from Strategy Cereal say, “The fact that France and Ukraine have already shopped for a new crop shows China is unlikely to change its view of Australia.”

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