Given the wider drought situation on the east coast of Australia, Victoria in contrast, had an outstanding year for both production and quality. Total Barley production came in around 2.5 million MT for Victoria which superseded its long-term average and provided plenty of barley for feed and malting. We normally work on a malt selection rate of 30% but for this last harvest many areas in Victoria were well above that at 50-60%. That means half the Victorian barley crop met malting quality – a truly impressive result!
The dominant varieties in Victoria are Planet and Spartacus as they are proving successful from an agronomic perspective while also satisfying malting and brewing requirements. In amongst that big picture, Malteurop continued to promote its own barley varieties, which we bred and developed ourselves, through our grower networks with Fairview and KIWI.
Fairview has established itself in our market for the last 10 years now while KIWI is the new kid on the block as we work to bulk up some seed stocks while it undergoes the Australian Malt Accreditation program. Both these varieties provide excellent traceability and malting quality with low viscosity and beta glucan the consistent standouts which brewers, large and small, love.
Further north NSW and Queensland had another frustrating season as the drought continued and local Barley supply was compromised. This meant any large-scale feeders or maltsters had to import barley from interstate (WA, SA and Vic).
To our west SA and WA both had reasonable crops which allowed them to cover their domestic demand for feed and malt Barley, but this year Victoria was a clear standout for Barley.
Looking forward we have seen some very positive weather events in the aftermath of the bushfires here on the east coast, particularly for NSW and Queensland, which has us looking at another large production season if all continues to plan. We look forward to providing further updates as the season unfolds…
Jack King – Malteurop Australia
Australia & New Zealand Commercial Sales & Procurement Manager
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