Barley harvests in Western Europe are winding down with an overall slight fall in the size of the crop and quality also expected to decline, particularly in Germany, crop analysts said Sept. 8.
Winter barley in Germany suffered major damage from the triple blow of a very cold winter, springtime drought and summer rain, according to the farm ministry. It estimates the winter barley crop has fallen 21.6 per cent to 6.76 million tonnes.
Germany is expected to harvest a larger spring barley crop after farmers replanted weather-damaged rapeseed with spring grains.
Frequent rain, however, threatens to hurt the quality of spring barley.
It looks like malt producers and beer brewers may have to accept lower quality than usual in their supplies in the coming months, a trader said.
In France, the barley harvest fell 11 per cent from last year and 19 per cent compared to the 2006-10 average, at nine million tonnes, the farm ministry estimated last week.