U.S. Export Statistics reported 21,200 tonnes of U.S. barley to Japan in the week ending Oct. 25. The U.S. Grains Council's Japan office confirms that this shipment is feed barley. Japan has been a consistent customer for limited quantities of food and malting barley, but greater availability and price competition, especially from Australian growers, has shut U.S. barley out of the Japanese feed market in recent years.
The council's Japan office continues to aggressively promote barley in Japan, especially for food applications. A recent visit by the Japanese Barley Industry Team to the barley producing states — Washington, Idaho and Montana — provided excellent overviews of barley production in the U.S. with upward trends in barley production after a couple of years of decline. The meetings during the visit clearly delivered the message to barley farmers to produce more to support buying intentions from overseas customers.