At the 2021/22 harvest, the following observations are relevant:
The reduction in overall market demand for malt barley, associated with the tariffs imposed by China on the imports of Australian barley, favour the production of barley with a yield–feed focus rather than a malt-focus and result in a further reduction of the total area sown to barley in 2021. Fortunately, the dominant barley varieties, RGT Planet and Spartacus CL, grown in Western Australia can be received into malt segregations, ensuring we can still 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.
Bass and Flinders will be the preferred malt barley varieties sought by the trade for malting and brewing end-use insouth-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 shochu. Associated with reduced grower production of La Trobe, limited segregations will be available forLa 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 fourport zones. Japan has proposed lifting the MRL for imazapyr from 0.1 to 0.7 ppm. Should this occur in 2021, there is potential to export Spartacus CL to Japan for the manufacture of shochu. Fullacceptance 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.
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