Markets for old crop malting barley remained scarce in the United Kingdom. Demand for fresh crops resumed in the first week of February 2022, and prices firmed slightly. Growers throughout the EU were postponing additional sales until their crop was planted. Conditions for planting appeared to be improving. Commencement of seeding in a number of early English spring barley fields was witnessed in February. In December 2021, malting barley prices were around 70-80 GBP/MT, an unheard of level, but a reflection of the market's scarcity.
With a total barley crop of 62 million tonnes, the availability of malting barley in the UK and EU was relatively adequate in 2020. The United Kingdom contributed 8.3 million tonnes to this total. As a result, because supply outstripped demand, the premium for malting barley over feed barley was minimal. In terms of global production, more than 150 million tonnes of barley was produced. In essence, there was plenty of barley available, and purchasers were unconcerned.
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The barley that is classified for use in malting is referred to as Malting Barley. The major difference between malting barley and feed barley is that the strains of barley, which are categorised as malting barleys possess certain genetic qualities. These genetic qualities, which include lower protein and beta glucan amounts along with higher enzyme levels, are responsible for making it better for brewing. Malted Barley is basically the source of the sugars (mainly maltose) that is fermented into beer. Malted barley is further used to adjust enzymatic activities in baking applications, thus, helping bakers shorten mix times and create browning characteristics.
In order to produce malting barley, barley is initially immersed in water to encourage the grain to sprout. It is then dryed to halt the progress of the barley when the sprouting begins.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).
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