Barley price peak in Ukraine passed – experts




In March-April, demand for barley in Ukraine is expected to drop. Such an assumption was made by experts of the analytical center of the PUSK agricultural cooperative, created within the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, during the weekly briefing, the press service of the UAC reports.

"Due to the fact that prices for barley have increased significantly compared to other feed crops, in March-April the demand for this grain in the world may be very low. It seems that the barley price peak has passed. In February, prices for barley will be in the range of 155-160 USD/t, but in March-April, the price will likely decrease, as demand may be suspended," analysts believe.

They also noted that in January, Ukraine exported 432.000 tonnes of barley, which is a record monthly figure in the current season.

"Barley was a relatively cheap grain, which was readily bought by the EU and China. It is the low price that explains the high demand and the record export figure in January – 432 thsd tonnes. 150.000 tonnes have already been contracted for February. But the situation may change in the future," analysts noted.

Barley is now losing to other crops of the feed group – wheat and corn. These crops fell in price, while barley remained unchanged.

On the FOB and CIF markets, barley is calculated at the price of corn, and this is a negative point. Because for the Italian market, for example, barley is calculated at 210-212 USD/t. Corn prices are at the same level. The usual spread between these feed crops should be 10-15 USD/t, that is, barley should be cheaper than corn, and now the prices have converged at the same level," experts explain.

The situation is similar in China – both barley and corn are priced at 240 USD/t. Under such conditions, China will rather choose corn than barley.

"In the future, scenarios are possible that either corn will increase in price, or barley will decrease," analysts believe.