Northern Hemisphere: Brewers are trapped with high malt price

After this year’s crop at the Northern hemisphere is almost finished, it can be seen that weather damage on crops has been substantial. ”Particularly durum, milling wheat and malting barley have been affected by late planting, a cold spring, heat waves in summer, and rains and storms in many regions before and at harvest time” writes Holger M. Gauger in his newest market report. Hardest hit were Canada, the northern plains of the U.S., the eastern countries of the EU and Central Russia. Barley qualities are sometimes poor, and barley prices have jumped upwards.

In June, experts already warned of the adverse weather situation with rising barley and malt prices. However, there was still hope for improvement and “Europe hoped for a large and good quality, however late crop.” (, 1.6.2021)

Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions also prevailed during summer and did not help to relief the tense barley supply situation.

This in turn affected malt prices which are also considerably higher than last year. There are still a lot of brewers who have not covered neither malt capacity nor barley for pricing of long term agreements (LTAs), sometimes in the range of 20% to 50%.

 “Brewers, who waited for the usual price pressure during or after harvest, have been trapped this year without much hope of relief until next year at the earliest,” concludes Gauger.

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