Can Greece Lessen Barley Imports With Local Good Yields?

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Jan 20, 2023 | Agricultural Markets

Reading time: 2 minutes

According to the USDA, Greece’s Barley production was 320,000 tons in MY 2021/2022. The country’s essential Barley-producing regions are Thessalia (28% of total Barley production), Kentriki Makedonia (23%), Dytiki Makedonia (15%), and Anatoliki Makedonia – Thraki (13%). In 2022, Greece’s Barley yield was quite good. The weather conditions and the rains of the previous period had an extremely positive impact on the cultivation.

As the agronomist in charge of the contract agriculture program of the Athenian Brewery, Mr. Vassilis Kotoulas, said: “The first Barleys range from 400 to 420 kg per hectare yield, that is 30% more than the previous year, which was the early ones at 300 to 320 kg per hectare. As we progress, the yield of the fields will go up. I, therefore, estimate that in the end, on average, it would be around 450 kg per hectare. Besides, the first impression of the quality is also excellent. Regarding the prices, we have already escaped the contract price, and no producer will be wronged.” The President of AS Nikaia, Mr. Antonis Rentzias, noted being very positive, both in terms of acres yields, quality, and producer prices, which are heard to be from 32 cents per kilo and above.

The agronomist, Thanasis Kountrias from Agromechaniki Volos, said that the good thing is that the yields per hectare are impressive in Almyros, reaching 500 and 600 kilograms per hectare. In 2021, we were talking about 300 kilos because the crops were affected by the Liba (Mediterranean wind) that blew at Easter. This year things are entirely different. In our area, there are both livestock and malting Barley. The demand is great, and although the prices have not been officially announced, it seems that they would play at the level of 30-35 cents per kilo, maybe even more. The competition for the product has brought the prices to satisfactory levels for the producer, who, however, had and has to face steep costs.

In favor of the independent establishment of groups of producers of Barley, but also of other agricultural products, Alexander Daniilidis, Managing director of Athens Brewery, spoke after a question from Agro24 (Local agricultural platform) on the sidelines of the presentation of the company’s Social and Economic Footprint Study for 2022 (with data from 2021) on December 7.

Since the company has already been working through contract farming for 15 years – through either cooperatives or traders – with Barley growers for malt production, Agro24 asked him if he was considering the possibility of the company setting up its own Barley Growers Group, as has been done with other cases.

Mr. Danielidis replied that it is not in the company’s goals to get involved in such a process. But, he is clearly in favor of organizing the producers, something that will give greater value to Greek agricultural products. Greece could be a country-producer of “boutique” products and stop competing with countries like Spain, which have very different sizes and advantages. Such a development could benefit the entire Greek economy.

Greece Barley Trade

In 2020, Greece imported Barley worth $14.4 million, becoming the 41st most significant importer of Barley in the world. The same year, Barley was the 448th most imported product in Greece. Greece imports Barley primarily from: Bulgaria ($9.5 million), Romania ($1.23 million), Italy ($1.17 million), Hungary ($879k), and Moldova ($826k).

The same year, Greece exported Barley worth $2.56 million, making it the 41st most significant exporter of Barley in the world. The leading destination of Barley exports from Greece is Cyprus ($1.54 million), Israel ($507k), Malta ($438k), the United Arab Emirates ($37.3k), and Albania ($23.3k).

Other sources: AGROTYPOS

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