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Malting Barley Prices Up Amid Drought

13 June 2011

EU - The EU malting barley market has shot higher as brewers finally realized that the drought conditions are in fact real, ongoing and will seriously impact the malting barley supply for crop 2011 as well as 2012.

"Actual trade was very thin, but it was all that was needed to push prices up by over '30 per tonne," explains Stuart Shand, Gleadell Agriculture's sales director. "UK maltsters have not entered the market as they know that there is little point as sellers have all but disappeared due to the concerns over expected yield. Growers and the trade are waiting to see what the drought affected crops will produce before they commit any more tonnes."

Prices are now at record highs for the 2011 crop, although the price at any point in time is difficult to say with very few trades being done anywhere in the EU. Actually getting a price that reflects this nominal market is not easy as buyers are rare and sellers even rarer. This makes for a market that will remain volatile until harvest."

Shand said that 2012 crop is trading, but again only in small volumes. There is a big discount to the 2011 crop as the unprecedented premiums are expected to produce very big malting barley plantings throughout the world this coming autumn and next spring.

"At the time of writing, growers can still make well over '200 ex-farm for 2012 crop spring barley and substantially more for their 2011 crop ' so while there is more volatility in the market, there are also bigger rewards for good growers," adds Shand.

TheCropSite News Desk

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