Israel Barley: France and Bulgaria Replace Ukraine


May 29, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

Barley is typically planted in Israel in the fall, between October and December, depending on the region and the weather conditions. The crop takes about four months to mature, and the optimal time for harvest is in the spring, between April and May. During this time, the Barley plants have reached their full height and developed the maximum grain amount. The timing of Barley harvest in Israel is essential for several reasons. First, harvesting the crop too early can result in a lower yield and lower-quality grain. If the Barley is not fully mature, the kernels may not be fully developed, and the grain may be smaller and less nutritious.

Israel’s Barley production in MY 2023/24 (October – September) is forecast at about 15 TMT from a harvested area of around 5,000 ha. Post estimates that the area planted with Barley is 6,700 ha, but 1,700 hectares will silage. The other 5,000 ha is for grain production. Most Barley production is located in the south of Israel; the remainder is in the BeitSh’ean Valley in the east. Production is about 3 MT/ha for grains and around 8.5 MT/ha when cultivated for silage.

FAS Tel Aviv forecasts Israel’s Barley consumption in MY 2023/24 at 364 TMT, with almost no change from the MY 2022/23 figure of 372 TMT. Post is revising MY 2022/23 feed consumption estimates by 113 TMT to 372 TMT from earlier estimates of 485 TMT. The decrease is due to the higher prices of Barley compared to corn. Barley is used as feed but can be alternated with feed wheat. The percentage of Barley in feed is determined by the market prices of Barley and wheat; this year, the price of both feed Barley and feed wheat was almost the same.

Following feed wheat and corn, Barley is the third most utilized feed grain in Israel. Post anticipates that annual consumption will range from 250 to 500 TMT over the next few years. Barley’s primary use in Israel is for sheep feed. Most feed mills will swap out feed wheat for Barley depending on prices, as seen this year following the price increase of Barley. FAS Tel Aviv forecasts Israel’s Barley stocks in MY 2023/24 at 36 TMT. Most of the stocks will be from the Government’s emergency feedstuff stocks. However, a limited number of stocks may be held at private feed mills.

Barley Trade in Israel

FAS Tel Aviv forecasts Israel’s Barley imports in MY 2023/24 at around 350 TMT, the same as 2022/23 figures. There have been no U.S.-origin Barley imports in recent years. Most of Israel’s Barley imports come from the BSB, taking advantage of shipping proximity and lower prices. This year, French and Bulgarian products replaced part of the Ukrainian Barley.

According to AgFlow data, Russia shipped 33,198 tons of Barley to Israel in Jan-Apr 2023. With no change from past years, Russia still dominated the supplies of Barley this year; however, depending on the current conflict in Ukraine, it will likely impact where Israel sources its Barley in the near term. Barley and other grains are necessary for feed rations due to the presence of a pigment in corn called xanthophyll 1 that turns broiler meat yellow.

Poultry producers and feed millers use higher amounts of Barley, sorghum, or even feed wheat to mitigate the intense yellow pigment in chicken meat. Israeli consumers tend to associate the yellow color in poultry with poor animal health and obesity. In recent years, annual Barley imports have varied between 190 TMT and 550 TMT and will stay at these levels

Other sources: ABLISON

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