A row of barley in China for the benefit of France and Canada

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A prohibitive Chinese tariff on Australian barley will benefit other suppliers without changing the bleak global outlook caused by large inventories and demand for depressed beer, analysts and traders said.

Officials in Beijing said on Monday that they would apply an 80.5% tariff on Australian barley imports for the next five years, a move that is expected to virtually halt flows from its main supplier.

“This should benefit Canada and France, which have a lot of stocks this year,” said Hélène Duflot, of the French consulting firm Strategie Grains. “China will have no problem finding supplies. “

Australia shipped about 2 million tonnes of barley this season to China, about half of its planned barley exports.

Several cargoes of French feed barley were sold this month for export to China, in part in anticipation of the tariff decision, traders said.

Canada and France could expect additional demand for their malting barley, particularly as China has fewer alternatives to Australia in this segment, while feed barley faces competition from others feed grains like corn, analysts said.

However, the new prospects for exporters are limited.

China had already gone to Canadian, French and Ukrainian origins in an 18-month Australian barley survey, and further expanded its options by approving the import of Russian and more recently American barley.

“I don’t think this is a magic change, but at least it’s an additional request,” said Dave Reimann, Winnipeg-based analyst at Cargill’s MarketSense division, about the Canadian outlook.

Chinese demand for malting barley may be lower than in previous years, according to Brent Atthill, managing director of RMI Analytics, a Swiss consulting firm specializing in brewing ingredients, that demand for beer in the country could drop by 15% this year during the coronavirus pandemic. .

Australia, for its part, should look to the Saudi feed barley market.

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