Barley boost with record sale

12 October 2001

Barley boost with record sale

MALTING barley exports have been given a boost by Glencore Grains recent record sale to South Africa. The Oxfordshire-based grain merchant has secured a 25,000t shipment of Optic malting barley – the biggest single load of malting barley to leave these shores since records began.

This follows last years sales of 75,000t to the same market and is "excellent news for English malting barley growers", according to trader James Read. In a year when exports are particularly difficult, this sale will provide a market for a higher Nitrogen barley, up to 2%.

Glencores managing director Keith Davies is hoping for a growing share of the total 150,000-200,000t annual South African market for malting barley, but is also eyeing China as a valuable new export destination.

The UK has a spring barley surplus of about 300,000t and sales have been slow so far. The domestic consumer is keen for winter barley, following a 20% smaller crop compared with last year. Optic is worth about £80/t ex-farm, with Regina and Pearl trading at £76-77/t, well above the feed base of £65/t.

"Maltsters are reasonably well covered until Christmas, but there is still good demand after that – the UK winter barley crop is only just about in balance," says Mr Davies. &#42

Glencores 25,000t shipment of malting barley will be the biggest single load of the crop to leave these shores.

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