The Middle East Emerges as a Top Destination for Australian Barley Export


Aug 29, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

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Australian Wheat production is estimated at 30.3 million tons in 2022-23, up 22% above the 10-year average, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). That would be the fourth largest on record and compares with an all-time high of 36.3 million tons in 2021-22. 

High prices and supportive seasonal conditions are prompting more sowing of Wheat, with planted area for Wheat rising 1%, ABARES said. The outlook is more downbeat than other forecasts, with Rabobank estimating Wheat at 32.5 million tons.

Despite a fall in Wheat export volume due to lower production, the value of Wheat exports expects to increase by 6% to a record US$11.4 billion in 2022–23. The value of sorghum exports is forecast to reach a record high of $813 million in the 2022–23 marketing year.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the gross value of crop production is forecast to reach US$45 billion in 2022–23, the second highest on record, following the record high of US$48 billion in 2021–22. This reflects near-record winter crop production coupled with high world Grain and Oilseed prices. An excellent start to the winter cropping season and a favorable outlook for winter rainfall expects to result in above-average yields.

The value of Australian crop exports expects to increase to almost US$40 billion in 2022–23. The high world prices and a significant exportable surplus drive high export values forecast for crop commodities in 2022–23. 

Australian Wheat and Barley prices are forecast to increase in 2022–23, averaging US$522 and US$331 per ton, respectively, reflecting the forecast increase in world prices. Grain and Oilseed prices are forecast to remain high in 2022–23 due to tight global supply and uncertainty surrounding production in Ukraine. World coarse Grain prices are forecast to remain elevated in 2022–23 due to strong world demand and lower global production.

Barley Export Markets by tons

Australian Barley Market

Australia produces more than 9 million metric tons of Barley across 4 million hectares. 30–40% of the yield achieves malting grade, with the remainder used for human consumption or stock feed. Growing through Australia’s winter months, Barley rotates with other crops, including Wheat, Canola, Oats, and Pulses. Australia has traditionally been a significant Barley exporter, often supplying 30–40% of the world’s exported malting Barley and 20–30% of global feed Barley. 

The Middle East has become a top destination for the Barley export market. Saudi Arabia led the market with 27% share in 2021-2022 (Nov-March), followed by the other Middle Eastern countries (13%), Japan (6%), the Philippines (6%), Vietnam (3.5%), and Mexico (2%). As per Agflow data, Saudia Arabia also ranked first with 783,290 tons of Barley in the shipment period of Feb-Jul 2022, followed by Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. 

Australian accredited varieties produce malt with an excellent level of extract and a range of enzyme levels to suit other style end-products. New malting Barley varieties are evaluated and accredited through a voluntary scheme managed by Barley Australia. Australian malting grade Barley varieties are Alestar, Bass, Compass, La Trobe, Leabrook, Maximus CL, RGT Planet, Spartacus, and Westminster.   

In terms of regions, Western Australia leads the production with 4.2 million tons on the five-year average to 2020-2021, followed by Victoria (2.5 million tons), South Australia (2.2 million tons), and New South Wales (1.8 million tons). This month, the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia forecasts Wheat and Barley production at 10.3 million tons and 5.1 million tons, respectively.



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