Australia’s record crop last year made the country the largest exporter of barley worldwide, replacing thereby the European Union. The surge in barley production combined with a record 2016/17 corn crop helped to keep barley prices low according to a report of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The implementation of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement last year with the removal of the import duty for barley made Australian barley even more attractive to the Chinese customer. Import of Australian barley into China more than tripled in the first two months of 2017 year to year.
As a consequence import of European barley into China decreased which also led to depressed barley prices in other parts of the world. On top USDA projected US ending stocks of wheat to reach a near 30-year high.