India’s opportunity for Australian barley - Elders Rural Services

India’s opportunity for Australian barley

India’s thirst for 500,000 metric tonnes of malting barley each year presents an opportunity for Australia after Chinese demand, which had accounted for 70 per cent of Australian barley exports, evaporated overnight, the next Elders Present online event will hear.

Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AGEIC) barley markets manager Mary Raynes will join experts on cropping, spraying, remote monitoring, and broadacre market movements for Elders Presents on Wednesday, October 28.

Ms Raynes said India’s malting barley market, comprising beer, food and drink, and health, provides a market opportunity for Australian barley growers.

“India’s leading malting and brewing companies are aware of the greater yields and efficiencies gained in the malting and brewing process of Australian malting barley,” she said.

“The ability of local India production to achieve the quality efficiencies of that compared to imported malting barley, is an ongoing contest, she said.

“India predominately plants 80 per cent of their barley crops to the 6 row plant architecture type producing an annual estimated 1.7 million metric tonnes however barley production in India faces continue challenges,” Ms Raynes said.

“A lowest minimum support price compared to other coarse grain crops, falling water tables, unreliable electricity supplies, together with urban and industrial encroachment, are putting pressure on those production levels.”

The 3.2 billion litre Indian beer industry was primed for growth on the back of the country’s surging population, Ms Raynes said.

“Of the 1.37 billion people living in India, ‘just’ over 200 million people can afford to drink beer and 22 million people drink premium beer,” she said.

“By 2030, India’s population is expected to reach 1.5 billion and account for a whopping 20pc of the world’s under 25-year-olds.”

Ms Raynes said India’s forecast 2030 beer consumption was 5.6b litres.

“Demand for quality beer is also expected to lift, with rising affluence, a growing acceptance of social drinking and bar culture, and more women drinking beer,” she said.

While countries like India, Vietnam and Indonesia offered Australian barley exporters with fresh opportunities, Ms Raynes said traditional markets remained vital.

In the last five years, Australia’s own domestic market absorbed about a third of its production, while China alone accounted for an estimated 70pc.

“We shouldn’t for a moment discount the importance of China as a market for Australian barley,” Ms Raynes said.

“China is still a key customer and market for Australian barley, specifically malting barley and AEGIC, with the Australian grains industry, will continue to regularly engage with China’s malting and brewing industry.

“AEGIC will look to increase out understanding of alternative barley market dynamics and customer quality preferences and align the Australian grains industry to capitalise on all the opportunities.”

Ms Raynes will join experts from Croplands, D-CAT and Thomas Elder Markets and take questions in an interactive session on cropping, spraying and broadacre market movements at the next Elders Presents online event on Wednesday, 28 October 2020.

Elders has a range of topics in their Elders Presents seminar series.

Watch recap videos