European barley prices to rise amid bad weather

European barley prices are on the rise as wet and cold weather in May and June has led to a drop in quantity and quality harvested, according to analyst at Bernstein Research.

While Forward prices for the North American winter grain, which are normally harvested between late July and September, have been falling marginally over the past few years, bad weather in western Europe, which harvests the crop a bit earlier than the US, has seen less crop harvested with poorer quality leading to estimated higher prices.

The report says that Forward Price estimates for barley in Europe have dropped to zero, from a surplus of 2.6m tonnes, or 25% of total production in the last two months. The drop has brought to end four years of bumper harvest. Despite the drop, cost increases are expected to be “modest”, says the report.

The EU supplies approximately 40% of the world’s malted barley, which comes at a premium price than feed barley because of the higher quality required to make beer commercially. Russia contributes 12% of the world’s total, Canada 6% and the US 3%.

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