THE REDUCTION in overall market demand for malting barley associated with tariffs imposed by China on Australian barley are expected to further reduce Western Australia’s total area sown to barley in 2021, according to the Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA).
In its ‘WA malt barley variety receival recommendations for the 2021-22 harvest‘ report, the GIWA Barley Council said the crop planted next year would have a yield-feed rather than a malt focus.
However, the versatility of WA’s dominant barley varieties, RGT Planet and Spartacus CL, can be received into malt segregations, which means WA could respond to any increased demand for malt barley should market conditions change.
“Maintaining a supply of the premium malt varieties, Bass and Flinders, is critical to domestic processors and key international customers during this period of reduced demand and expected lower market price,” GIWA said.
“Bass and Flinders will be the preferred malt barley varieties sought by the trade for malting and brewing end-use in South East Asia and Japan, with demand for RGT Planet and Spartacus CL increasing in different market sectors.”
La Trobe is the preferred malt variety supplied to Japan for the manufacture of the distilled spirit, shochu.
Associated with reduced grower production of La Trobe, limited segregations will be available for La Trobe to maintain supply to this premium market and support the needs of domestic processors.
The rapid adoption of Spartacus CL has continued, with Spartacus CL now the most popular variety sown across all four WA port zones.
Japan has proposed lifting the maximum residue limit (MRL) for imazapyr from 0.1 to 0.7 parts per million.
Should this occur in 2021, there is potential to export Spartacus CL to Japan for the manufacture of shochu.
Full acceptance of Spartacus CL for shochu in Japan will result in the phasing out of La Trobe after the 2021-22 harvest.
If an import tolerance is implemented, shochu buyers will likely start making the switch over to Spartacus CL during the 2020-21 campaign.
Scope CL has been phased out as a malt variety and will not be segregated after the 2020-21 harvest.
Growers can continue to sow Scope CL for the farming-system benefits it offers and deliver into feed segregations as there is no longer any international demand for the malt profile of Scope CL barley.
Segregation opportunities for Bass, Flinders, La Trobe, RGT Planet and Spartacus CL vary by port zone, and within the Albany and Kwinana zones.
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