MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB announced on Dec. 20 that it has increased the estimated pool returns (EPRs) for its malting barley pools across Australia by A$40 a tonne in eastern and South Australia and A$45 a tonne in Western Australia.

AWB General Manager Commodities Mitch Morison said many barley crops in Victoria and New South Wales had suffered from repeated rainfall events on ripe crops and while South Australia had not had as much rain, it was sufficient to downgrade malting barley in many cases.

“The drought in Western Australia has cut barley production generally in that state and while crops in eastern Australia are still yielding well, any malting varieties that were ripe when soaked have not fared very well, so the supply malting barley is clearly down and feed barley is increasing,” Morison said.

“Prices have rallied as marketers have moved to fill their malt positions and while Australian malting barley is a little expensive at present for the world market, underlying demand is strong.

“Feed barley is largely being driven by what transpires with feed wheat and the broader feed grain complex.

“Internationally the interest for feed barley is steady, with prices supported by the lack of exports from Black Sea sources.”