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05 August 2022

Spring barley report for Europe 2022

Without surplus into new harvest | The supply of spring malting barley in the EU is assessed quite differently. What is certain is that the market is entering the new season without any surpluses from the old harvest.

In France, for example, the mild spring weather initially supported the development of spring barley. Later, high temperatures and a lack of rainfall in May had a negative impact on the development. Especially in the south of Paris and for two-row varieties sown in late winter, these circumstances made themselves felt. North and east of Paris, the conditions were better. Even though heavy rainfall occurred after the heat waves in May and June, this influence is considered too late for a good development of spring barley. From the current point of view, lower yields of 10 to 15 percent are considered possible. Due to the larger acreage, a harvest of 3.6 million tons of spring barley is possible.

In Denmark, there is talk of satisfactory growing conditions overall so far. Precipitation is below average, but still came at important times. From today's perspective, the supply of spring barley is estimated at 3.2 million. tons, significantly higher than last year. The area is roughly the same as last year. There is also talk from Sweden of a similar acreage as last year. Finland has again reduced the acreage. Overall, the growing conditions in Scandinavia have so far been better than in 2021. Especially on the weaker soils, the effects of temperatures over 30 °C at the end of June have yet to be seen.

The UK, with a much smaller acreage than last year, also reports good conditions and sufficient rainfall for crops, especially in England, where a harvest of around 2.5 million tons is expected.

In southwest Germany, initial harvest results show a full barley content of between 70 and 90 percent. The protein content is classified as weak with nine percent. Yields are expected to be below the average of the past years with about 5.0 t /ha. Dry weather conditions have resulted in thin stands. In the east, too, rather moderate yields are expected due to a lack of precipitation. In Lower Saxony, the stands can only be kept at an average level by irrigation. Here, too, it was too dry. Problems with grain formation are expected. In southern Germany, on the other hand, the prospects for good yields are better. Currently, a total of just under 2 million tons of spring barley are expected.

In the Netherlands, the acreage is assumed to be ten percent larger. Dry weather conditions in May and June characterizes the emergence. Very thin crop is reported from Austria on a further reduced acreage. There was not enough rainfall until mid-May. A maximum of 100 000 t of spring barley are expected. Reduced cultivation is again expected for the coming season. Poland has also reduced its acreage again. Due to the cold and dry spring, the plants are in a weak condition. High temperatures at the end of June are expected to lead to losses in yields and quality. A harvest of about 320,000 to 350,000 tons of malting barley is expected. Field crops in Slovakia have also been affected by a very dry period in the second half of February and March. From January to May, only 70 percent of the average precipitation was achieved. The dry and warm period in June may have a negative impact on yield and quality. Production of 305 000 tons spring barley is expected. In the Czech Republic, on the other hand, a good harvest is expected due to sufficient rainfall. First very early and not very meaningful harvest results in Hungary show slightly lower yields. Qualities cannot yet be classified. At 120,000 tons, slightly less barley is expected than last year.

Conclusion

In general, supplies in the EU are expected to remain tight due to regional drought damage. Other regions are hoping for good harvests and therefore slight surpluses cannot be ruled out. However, the coming harvest must last for 13 to 13.5 months due to empty warehouses. Fixed prices are called. However, following the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) acreage report at the end of June, strong selling from the French agricultural sector and the general weakening of prices for cereals on the international stock exchanges, prices are falling significantly. As a result, premiums for malting barley to feed barley of only 80 to 120 EUR/t are paid at the beginning of July.

On the demand side there are some challenges. Inflation with higher prices also for food could reduce demand for beer. Which effects the corona epidemic might have in autumn remains to be seen. The malt industry faces special challenges with higher energy costs and possible regulation of gas supply as well as difficult logistics. Further declining premiums can thus not be ruled out.