UK malting barley export prices are at €245/t FOB (spring, South Coast) w/e 11th April. This suggests a premium of around €53/t over feed barley. Ex-farm spot prices for March show UK malting barley at a £33/t premium over feed barley (£189.8/t and £156.7/t respectively).
Barley usage in the UK is particularly strong – 6.7% higher than at the corresponding time last season. In the 34 weeks to 25th February 2012, UK brewers, distillers and maltsters used 1.202m tonnes of barley (DEFRA usage data). Malting usage was up 6.4% year-on-year at 1.146m t, the highest level since 2003-04, while brewing/distilling was up 12.4% to 55,900t.
Looking ahead to 2012 crop, UK malting barley export prices for 2012 w/e 11th April are €216/t FOB (spring, South Coast), a slight premium to French malting barley prices (€212/t FOB Creil).
Significant winter kill is anticipated in parts of Europe, so an increased spring barley area is expected to fulfil demand.