The Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) issued eight international barley import tenders in 2017-18 for a total of 7.3 million tonnes by June 30, 2018. The agency also received approximately 700,000 tonnes of barley early in the 2017-18 marketing year.

Overall, SAGO said it expects to import 8 million tonnes of barley in 2017-18, down from 8.4 million tonnes in 2016-17. A further decline in imports is expected in 2018-19, the USDA noted, with a forecast total of 7.5 million tonnes.

“According to data from exporting countries, during the first seven months of MY 2017-18 Ukraine maintained its dominance of the Saudi barley trade with 35% of the market,” the USDA said. “They were followed by Russia with 30%t and Romania — a distant third with 10%. Ukraine’s market share fell in the first seven months of MY 2017-18 compared to same period last year. Both Russia and Romania increased their market share.”

The United States has not shipped barley to Saudi Arabia since the 2012-13 marketing year, the USDA noted in the report.

Total consumption of barley also is trending down. According to the USDA, total consumption is forecast at 7.510 million tonnes in 2018-19, down from 8.010 million tonnes in 2017-18 and 9.810 million tonnes in 2016-17. The agency noted that policy decisions on forage production continue to weigh on consumption of barley in the country.