Barley feed usage jumps in the UK

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/maceofoto
© GettyImages/maceofoto
UK barley demand is seeing a hike as higher wheat prices meant buyers sought a more cost effective grain for animal feed.

Barley feed usage jump by around a fifth in the nine months through to March 2018. The UK’s total consumption this season is expected to reach the highest since 1991/92, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

However, barley usage may drop again as feed wheat’s premium over barley reduces.

Weather challenges

Global grain markets continued to be influenced by weather forecasts and crop condition reports last week, said the AHDB in a market report.

“Conditions in some key global wheat growing regions continued to be of concern. Australia remained dry, hampering planting and crop development, it said. The Manitoba and Saskatchewan regions of Canada were also dry with rainfall required for crop development. Similarly, warm and dry weather has set in across Black Sea regions with crop conditions less than ideal.

“The US southern plains continued to lack moisture, and with harvest fast approaching crop conditions are unlikely to improve significantly.”

Rapeseed yields

Meanwhile, the AHDB noted that unfavorable weather across parts of Europe is reportedly set to reduce rapeseed yields.

The European Commission MARS Report released on May 22 highlighted that Polish rapeseed yields have been revised down following recent warm weather increasing pest pressure. German rapeseed yields were also predicted to reduce from last year’s levels because of flowering issues caused by recent warm weather.

Meanwhile, following the trade tensions between the US and China, Chinese purchasers are reportedly finding sorghum supplies tight, with US origin sorghum having being diverted to other markets, reported AHDB.  

However, Chinese tariff proposals for US soybean appear on hold following ongoing negotiations last, with both sides having retreated from a potential damaging trade dispute. The US and China would appear to be looking to make concessions, said the UK analysts.

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