Ukrainian barley: potential and risks in the 2020/21 season 14 April, 2020 at 14:04

In MY 2019/20, global barley supply increased by 19 MMT to the highest since MY 1994/95. Exporting countries expanded barley acreage and production due to high prices in MY 2018/19. 

Saudi Arabia and China (some 50% of global imports) buy barley at a slower pace than last year. From July to January, Saudi Arabia imported 26% less barley than a year earlier. The pace of Chinese imports is as fast as last year.

Concerning Ukrainian barley, barley exports in the 2019/20 season (Jul.-Mar.) is almost 30% year-on-year. Low demand and abundant supply in the world market have resulted in higher domestic stocks. Barley stocks in Ukraine are up 37% year-on-year (as of March 1). 

The top importer – Saudi Arabia reduced barley purchases in July-March 2019/20 (down 49% season-over-season). The slump resulted from large own production of forage crops. China is still the second biggest importer of Ukrainian barley, though it stopped purchases from September 2019, UkrAgroConsult reports.

Low prices and shrunk margin caused farmers in the Black Sea region to reduce planting of barley (both winter and spring varieties).

As barley crop condition in the south deteriorates, UkrAgroConsult cuts its forecast for barley yield (down 6% from last year). 

Considering the acreage adjustment, the total crop will fall by 10-15% against last year crop.