China’s commerce ministry said at the beginning of November that it will extend the anti-dumping investigation into imports of Australian barley by another six months, with the investigation now due to be finalised on 19th May 2020. China first announced an anti-dumping investigation into imported barley from Australia in November 2018, with the probe set to last a year.
Australian barley exports significantly decreased by 29.4% in 2018/19 compared to the previous marketing year. Furthermore, this significant drop is in line with lower barley availability, following droughts in 2018. So far this year, Australia has sold 2.3 million tonnes of barley to China, just under half of China’s total barley purchase. Therefore, this extension to the anti-dumping investigation is likely to further dampen the Australian barley industry, as possible outcomes could include the imposition of import tariff on Australian barley exports to China. The uncertainty is likely to result in a downward pressure on Australian barley prices.
Another important factor to consider is the consistent droughts in Australia, which may also impact barley prices over the coming season. According to the USDA, Australian barley production is anticipated to slightly recover from last year’s output (+1% y-o-y), to a total of 8.4 million tonnes for 2019/20.