MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB announced on April 27 that barley grades in 2011-12 barley pools have been reduced by between A$5 to A$7 a tonne as global barley prices remain under pressure due to the higher than expected barley crop in Argentina and competitors aggressive selling into a number of barley export markets.

“Argentina continues to target the Middle Eastern barley markets and Argentina barley exports into the Middle East have been the largest in a number years,” said AWB’s Richard Williams.“The Argentina barley export program is replacing some Australian barley exports and therefore impacting on Australian barley prices overall. In addition, the Saudi Arabian barley market is well covered for the reminder of the old crop campaign and with the stabilization of the Northern Hemisphere crop traders are aggressively selling into the Middle East and Persian Gulf before the upcoming harvest which is placing further pressure on barley values.

“Domestically the abundance of feed wheat on the east coast is also displacing barley in the domestic feed market.

“While barley prices remain under pressure the export program out of Australia remains solid and we expect Asia barley customers to come onto the market in the coming months which should provide some support to Australian barley prices.”