Due to lower beer production in the wake of the pandemic, breweries' malt requirements have also decreased. Smaller breweries suffered more than the large groups, although all brewers have adjusted to sales for home consumption instead of beer served at restaurants and bars.
“The medium and small inland maltsters reacted fast and reduced their productions,” states H.M. Gauger in his newest market report. “The large malting groups in the EU experienced a surprise: a good malt demand from Asia and Africa, and an excellent demand from Brazil. Export business was so good, that virtually all malting groups along the coast and on waterways could continue to produce at full capacity. The offical export statistics prove the point.”
While the pandemic continues and the number of infected people has not yet been significantly reduced by vaccinations, the temporary closings in restaurants and the cancellation of major events and thus the decline in beer sales will continue in the coming months.
However, if “in the unlikely event of a completely open social life in spring or summer, a lack of malt supplies would be possible,” concludes H.M. Gauger. One has to keep in mind that malting capacities were fully used before the crisis started and maltings will need some time to adjust to a higher malt demand when beer stocks need to be refilled after the crisis.
Because of the uncertain future prospects malt sales have hardly started for 2022, neither for priced contracts nor for barley cover of long term agreements.