RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia saw a 41% decrease in barley imports in the first six months of the 2021-22 marketing year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

FAS estimates imports at 2.36 million tonnes for the first half of the year, compared to 4 million tonnes during the same period of the previous year.

 According to local importers, the decline in barley imports was caused by a shortage of vessels delivering competitively priced barley as well as a decrease in the overall domestic demand.

“Over the past several months, numerous farmers have departed the livestock sector due to increasing costs, thus lowering demand,” FAS said. “As a result, Post’s current projection for total Saudi barley imports for the marketing years is 5.52 million tonnes, down 16% compared to the USDA official estimate of 6.2 million tonnes for 2020-21.”