LONDON, ENGLAND — World trade in barley malt, spurred by demand from Pacific Asia and South America and abundant global production, will continue on an upward course in 2013-14, according to the latest review by the International Grains Council (IGC). The IGC forecast global exports in the current season at 6,685,000 tonnes, up 2% from 6,522,000 in the prior crop year. Shipments aggregated 6,228,000 tonnes in 2011-12 and 6,216,000 in 2010-11.

The E.U. maintained its lead as the leading shipper of barley malt, with its exports in 2013-14 put by the IGC at 3.1 million tonnes, against 2,987,000 in 2012-13 and 2,804,000 in 2011-12. Australia and Canada nearly tied for a distant second place. Australia was forecast to ship 800,000 tonnes and Canada 805,000, compared with 795,000 and 725,000, respectively, in 2012-13. U.S. exports were placed at 500,000 tonnes, a fairly consistent total for recent years.

The sharpest export decrease was likely for Argentina, its outgo expected to drop to 600,000 tonnes, contrasted with 710,000 in the prior season. The fall was attributed to greater Mercosur competition and the reluctance of farmers to sell their grain crops.

Far East Asia was seen increasing its leadership among global import markets. The Council attributed this to climbing household income and increased discretionary spending on items like beer. The latest forecast of Far East Asia barley malt imports this crop year was 2.3 million tonnes, against 2,197,000 in the previous season, a gain of 5%. Major markets were Japan at 650,000, against 628,000 in 2012-13, and Vietnam at 480,000 compared with 429,000.

South American imports once again were led by Brazil, which was expected to take 1.2 million tonnes in 2013-14, compared with 1,189,000 in 2012-13. Domestic availabilities were increased as a result of a large and good quality malting barley crop.

Once again U.S. imports of barley malt were only slightly less than expected U.S. exports, with the import total placed at 425,000.