Europe: Malt prices have increased by more than 50€ per ton

The coldest spring for years in Europe has slowed down the development of winter grains and delayed planting of spring grains beyond the ideal seeding date.

April 2021 was the coldest since 2003 for Europe. Germany’s April, 2021, was even the coldest in 40 years, and the frostiest in over 90 years, according to the country’s DWD national weather service. UK recorded the coldest average low temperature since 1922. Temperatures that plunged to near -10C were even recorded in some Italian regions like Tuscany and Umbria which are normally known for their mild climate.France endured similarly fickle spring weather. After record warmth at the end of March, it was then hit hard by freezing April weather, the coldest in more than 20 years. The frost has taken a toll on flowers, fruits, vegetables and all sorts of vegetation.

The May was also unusually cold and wet. The UK recorded 30 per cent more than its average monthly rainfall. Also in other European countries rain has been pouring down for weeks. It was not before last week, that weather in most of Europe warmed up and it stopped raining.

Despite the obvious delay in vegetation, the cold and wet weather has not harmed the grain. The state of all crops is considered good, Europe hopes for a large and good quality, however late crop.

After vaccination has gained momentum and COVID-19 seems to be in many countries under control – at the least for the time being –pubs, bars and restaurants are opening up again and demand for beer has increased. There even seems to be a catch-up effect that overshoots normal levels.

China that was the first country to be hit by the pandemic but also the first to evade it again, has already found back to normal pre-COVID growth levels that caused an insatiable demand for barley that has driven prices up. This is compounded by the new tariff barriers in China for Australian barley that have diverted the flow of goods around the world. (, 19.5.2021)

“Price levels are much higher than last year, which is not foreseen in every company's budget, and a return to former prices is most unlikely in 2021/22,” writes H.M. Gauger in his newest market report. As a consequence “FOB Antwerp malt prices increased € 55,- per ton from one year ago,” the report states.

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