North America: Imports of barley and malt are a must in the region this year

USDA and Statistics Canada’s January estimates for the 2021/22 crop year in the US are as follows: crop 2.56 mln tonnes (last year 3.72), exports 0.175 mln tonnes (last year 0.350), imports 0.2 mln tonnes (0.136).

North America: Imports of barley and malt
© E-Malt
Source:  E-Malt News

Canadian barley crop is forecast at 6.95 mln tonnes (last year 10.74 mln), of which Saskatchewan 2.55 mln (4.4), Alberta 3.6 mln tonnes (5.3). Exports in August 2021 – January 2022 were 1.67 mln tonnes and may reach 1.9 mln by the end of the crop year. The export volume is amazing compared to the crop size, H. M. Gauger GmbH said in their latest report.

Both the Canadian and U.S. markets have a big gap of malting barley, brewers/maltsters cannot find any large size offers. Imports from abroad are a must, and have started to roll. After early arrivals from Denmark of 60 thousand tonnes to the U.S. and Canada, now 45 thousand tonnes are on their way from Argentina to the U.S. Gulf, 30 thousand tonnes being loaded at Rouen for Canada, further two cargoes reported for June shipment from Australia to Canada.

Following their disastrous crops serious supply problems are anticipated for the summer months, and new crop germinating barley supplies in Noma are unvailable before Sept/Oct. Further large import purchases are forecast, but there is also a constant fear of phytosanitary problems for imports from Argentina and Australia.

Mexico is the fourth largest beer producer in the world. In 2019 its malt production was only 536,000 tonnes; since then the nation constructed a new 120,000 tonnes facility.

In the past the U.S. and Canada were the almost exclusive suppliers of barley and malt to Mexico, but after the calamitous crops of 2021 USA/Canada drop out as a suppliers of raw material for beer. Australia has become the largest supplier of barley to Mexico, already in 2021/22 it shipped 235 thousand tonnes. On top of Australia, the EU (74 thousand tonnes) and China (68 thousand tonnes) supplied malt to the country.

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