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24 September 2021

Heterogeneous harvest in Europe

Malting barley report | In addition to a smaller acreage of spring barley in Europe, there are now heterogeneous harvest results. Prices are showing a firm trend.

After the spring still offered quite promising prospects for the harvest, the results shortly before the end of the work are regionally rather disappointing, at least heterogeneous. On a much smaller area than last year, the malting barley percentage in France will be heterogeneous. Weak screening and difficult harvest conditions due to rainfall have led to quality losses. In Denmark, on the other hand, there has been talk of good screening and protein values. The yield, however, leaves much to be desired. In Sweden, there is talk of high protein values and a good screening. The yields are below the average of the past years, so a smaller export share is expected.

In the United Kingdom the acreage has been reduced significantly back to normal after last year. The protein values are classified as heterogeneous at a rather low level, the yields as average. A high screening characterizes the harvest. The first half of the harvest is rated as good. It remains to be seen how the results will turn out after the rains.

In Germany, a smaller malting barley harvest is expected due to a smaller acreage, weak screening and weaker yields. At the end of August the work has not yet been completed in some altitudes. The protein values are in the middle range, regionally also higher than last year. As in France, rainfall has repeatedly interrupted the work and led to quality losses. Farmers' contracts cannot always be fulfilled regionally.

High temperatures in June led to an abrupt ripening in Austria with, in part, extremely weak yields, low screening and high protein values. Weak screening and yields also characterize the harvest in Slovakia.  High temperatures in June also had an impact on the screening here. Rain in August had an influence on the qualities. The qualities in the Czech Republic are similarly heterogeneous. Exports to Germany tend to be at a low level. In Poland, too, yields are average and qualities are heterogeneous. The share of feed barley is expected to be higher than in other years. It is therefore assumed that there will be a greater need for imports.

Malting Barley market

The supply situation for malting barley in Europe is still considered unclear at the moment. Now that the 2020 harvest has been largely negotiated and some of it has ended up in the feed trough, the 2021 harvest results are causing additional uncertainty in the market.  If it is possible to process barley with germination soon after the harvest, the good lots would remain for later consumption. At the same time, there are currently no offers from the surplus regions. Not only the fixed wheat price on the international markets, but also the scarce availability of malting barley itself is leading to firm prices at the moment. The brewers' supply of malt is estimated to be given until the end of the calendar year. On the other hand, the rising numbers in the corona pandemic are again influencing the demand for beer worldwide. This also affects the export maltsters in Germany. In any case, beer producers have to deal with higher malt prices. Demand from brewers is therefore rather restrained.