Drought concerns across many parts of northern Europe have pushed malting barley prices to a new high this week.
“Actual trade was very thin, but it was all that was needed to push prices up by over €30 per tonne,” Stuart Shand, Gleadell Agriculture‘s sales director said. “Prices are now at record highs for the 2011 crop, although the price at any point in time is difficult to say with very few trades being done anywhere in the EU.”
At the time of writing, he said growers could still make well over £200/t ex-farm for 2012 crop spring barley and “substantially more” for their 2011 crop. This was because the unprecedented premiums were expected to encourage more malting barley plantings throughout the world this coming autumn and next spring, he said.
“UK maltsters have not entered the market as they know that there is little point as sellers have all but disappeared due to the concerns over expected yield. Growers and the trade are waiting to see what the drought-affected crops will produce before they commit any more tonnes,” Mr Shand added.
“So while there is more volatility in the market, there are also bigger rewards for good growers.”