After a three-year low, global 2019/20 barley production is forecast to rise to 152.3m tonnes, up 9% y-o-y, mainly due to a rise in harvested area from the top producers. Global consumption is also forecast to rebound this season from its two-year low, driven by anticipated higher global supply.
EU barley consumption is forecast at 54.7m tonnes, the highest volume since 2016/17, as improved weather conditions favoured crops this year. Barley consumption by Saudi Arabia and China, the two largest importers, is expected to increase significantly - around 8 million tonnes (+17.6% y-o-y) and 7 million tonnes (16.7% y-o-y) respectively.
The Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) has recently bought approximately 780,000 tonnes of feed barley, with supply coming from Australia, EU, the Black Sea region, North America (not including Canada) and South America.
Mintec feed barley prices have been trending at a discount to feed wheat since mid-June, encouraging further consumption. However, this discount has recently narrowed due to the continued decline in wheat prices, following abundant global supply, which could result in buyers substituting barley for cheaper grains.