IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Barley – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

2021 is forecast to see global barley supplies outstripped by demand. This may lead to a sharp rise in grain prices. 

A substantial proportion of consumption growth is driven by the demand from China for barley-based feed, as China’s livestock population continues to recover from the swine fever outbreak. Shortages in supply are expected due to the poor crop yield owing to the adverse weather conditions in Russia, Australia, Turkey and the UK. 

Key trends and insights
Global barley production is set to decline by 1.5% (IndexBox estimates) in 2021 against 2020 when the global barley harvest amounted to a record 160М tonnes. A projected poor crop yield in Russia, Australia, Turkey and the UK is to hamper this year’s results. 

Meanwhile, a robust yield is expected in Argentina, Kazakhstan, Canada and Ukraine, but this remains insufficient to offset the global output decline. Global barley stocks are running low as a result of demand outpacing supply, which could lead to a rise in prices. 

In China, robust demand is forecast for barley for animal feeding, as the country sees its livestock population recovering in the wake of the swine fever outbreak. In 2020, China increased barley imports in physical terms by 36% against the previous year. In 2021, China is projected to see a further 9% surge in imports. 

The consumption in the EU is projected to fall due to the increased use of wheat in animal feed instead of barley. In Australia and Thailand, the volume of barley exports to Asia is forecast to decline as a result of China’s introduction of anti-dumping taxes. To substitute supplies from Australia and Thailand, imports from Canada to China are expected to increase. 

In Russia, poor weather conditions at the end of 2020 damaged winter crops, which is to adversely affect the yield figures. It is expected that the fields will be resown with oil-bearing and spring crops. 

Russia is also being affected by a lack of available labor as migrant workers were unable to return to Russia during the pandemic. This leads to a shortfall of more than 30K laborers in the agricultural sector. 

The global barley market is set to reach 13M tonnes by 2030 as a result of increasing demand. The increase in barley prices could contribute to the accelerating food inflation in the world, which undermines the effect of income-support measures during a pandemic and becomes a serious barrier to the food market growth. 

Global barley consumption 
In 2020, the global barley market increased by 3.4% to $44.3B, rising for the second year in a row after five years of decline. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2019 with an increase of 14% year-to-year. 

Over the period under review, the global market hit record highs at $44.7B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2020, consumption stood at a somewhat lower figure.

The countries with the highest volumes of barley consumption in 2020 were Russia (17M tonnes), Germany (11M tonnes) and China (9.7M tonnes), together accounting for 23% of global consumption.

From 2012 to 2020, the biggest increases were in China, while barley consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Russia ($3.3B), Turkey ($3.1B) and China ($2.4B) constituted the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2020, together comprising 20% of the global market.

The countries with the highest levels of barley per capita consumption in 2020 were Canada (203 kg per person), Australia (199 kg per person) and Spain (165 kg per person).

Global barley exports
In 2020, the amount of barley exported worldwide skyrocketed to 35M tonnes, with an increase of 18% against 2019. In value terms, barley exports expanded notably to $6.9B in 2020. 

The biggest shipments were from France (6.8M tonnes), Ukraine (5M tonnes), Australia (4.3M tonnes), Russia (4.2M tonnes), Canada (2.8M tonnes) and Germany (2.4M tonnes), together resulting at 74% of total export. 

The following exporters – the UK (1.6M tonnes), Romania (1.3M tonnes), Hungary (0.8M tonnes) and Denmark (0.7M tonnes) – together made up 13% of total exports.

In value terms, France ($1.4B), Australia ($908M) and Ukraine ($878M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2020, with a combined 46% share of global exports. These countries were followed by Russia, Canada, Germany, the UK, Romania, Denmark and Hungary, which together accounted for a further 40%.

The average barley export price stood at $199 per tonne in 2020, reducing by -8.7% against the previous year. Average prices varied noticeably amongst the major exporting countries. 

In 2020, major exporting countries recorded the following prices: in Denmark ($217 per tonne) and Canada ($214 per tonne), while in Ukraine ($174 per tonne) and Hungary ($175 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

IndexBox report: https://app.indexbox.io/report/1003/0/