Barley eases as farmer sales lift

East Coast barley prices came under pressure as farmer selling picked up into a market as buyers eye-off another thumping harvest.

An abundance of natural pastures and the absence of export buying from China have significantly eroded demand for Australian barley in recent years.

Two years of drought through 2018 and 2019 forced farmers to feed barley to keep livestock alive. In many cases farmers were forced to buy in supplies at a crippling cost. This was reversed in 2020 as record high barley yields filled on-farm storages to the brim, offering an abundance of supplies for the domestic feeders.

The situation was further complicated in the south. An absence of export demand from China left Victorian farmers looking for new overseas buyers to absorb excess supplies from last year’s bumper crop.

Southern Queensland barley bids slipped as farmer selling in NSW picked up to make room for another massive harvest. Old crop barley prices fell $5 to $295 delivered into the Daring Downs last week. New crop barley prices into the Downs were steady at $270 a tonne.

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