The Australian barley industry should diversify its markets while continuing to engage with Chinese brewers and maltsters, according to a new Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) report.
Barley 2030: Anticipated trends in global barley consumption summarises important barley markets for Australia and makes recommendations to maximise value for the industry.
AEGIC’s Barley Markets Manager Mary Raynes said it was important for Australian barley growers to have access to a diversity of markets to reduce reliance on a single dominant buyer.
“We are recommending that the Australian industry, supported by government, should identify alternative market opportunities,” she said.
“This will involve detailed market analysis, including the value and volume of opportunity, the suitability of Australian barley for key end uses in malt and feed, and any market access constraints”.
Some potential and current market opportunities for Australian barley include India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, South East Asia and the Middle East/North Africa.
Ms Raynes said it was important for Australia to stay connected with Chinese maltsters and brewers, despite the current tariffs.
“There are strong mutual benefits to continued engagement with China. Chinese barley users will be more likely to quickly start buying Australian barley – particularly malting barley – again if tariffs are lifted, because they will remain informed about the malting and brewing quality aspects of new Australian barley varieties, research, and market developments.
“The Australian industry will also remain mindful of the needs of Chinese brewers and maltsters when making breeding and classification decisions.”
Ms Raynes said Australia would need to maintain and grow its presence in important malting markets outside China, most notably India and Vietnam.
“The industry should focus on regular, positive engagement with these markets, and others, to make sure Australian barley is meeting their needs,” she said.
“An improved understanding of potential new barley uses could also benefit the Australian industry, for example high beta glucan barley for human health and combination food uses such as barley/rice mixes.
“The report also recommends that Australia develop and communicate targeted information about the benefits of Australian barley for animal feed to a range of markets. Some success with this strategy has been seen in increasing feed volumes to Thailand in recent years.”
A companion report, Wheat 2030 – Anticipated trends in global wheat consumption, is also available now.