The total global production of barley varies annually in a range between 125 million tons and 155 million tons, mainly influenced by yield results – but with the critical remark that the global production area has been reduced consistently over the last 10 years, as well as barley shows a negative yield curve development over this period, whereas other major crops like wheat, corn and soybeans have gained acreages and increased yields.
By far, the largest producer of barley is the EU28, with a total production of about 50 to 60 million tons per year, followed by Russia, with about 15 to 20 million tons. Additional major growers are the Ukraine and Canada, both with about 8 to 12 million tons annual production, and Australia, with a total production of about 6 to 9 million tons.
The major exporters of barley are the Ukraine, Russia, the EU28 and Australia, all with the possibility to export annually about 4 to 6 million tons, assuming normal crop results and no political restricts.
The world trades roughly 20 million tons of feed barley between continents whereas Saudi Arabia is the largest customer with an annual need of almost up to 8 million tons or 40% of the total global imports. The next group of importers with a significantly small but still substantial demand of 1 to 3 million tons annually is formed by Japan, China, Iran and Morocco.