A GRAINS industry analyst has said that Australian barley has been finding a home internationally through 2020 as the cereal was priced to hit the export market as the industry adjusts to life without China and that stocks were coming back fast.
"There is a debate about what is on-farm and what is not, but there is no doubt there has been an aggressive draw down on stocks and historically low inventory in South Australia and Western Australia," said Nick Carracher, chief executive of Lachstock Consulting.
"Barley is being priced into Saudi Arabia from both SA and WA, the market is repriced in an effort to access the wholesale barley market," Mr Carracher said.
He said demand from exporters had meant barley was actually being pulled from southern states to help satisfy the export demand.
Jason Craig, CBH general manager of marketing and trade, said barley stocks were generally tight in Western Australia, but added the relatively small domestic market had cover.
Transhipments of barley from South Australia and Western Australia to Brisbane and Newcastle, a staple of the grain market over the past couple of years, are now gradually drawing to a close with east coast end users now comfortable with stocks availability until new crop grain comes online later in the year.
Mr Carracher said the bright spot in light of COVID-19 was that the data on demand had not thus far been as bad as it could be for the grains sector.
"You can get sucked into anecdotal evidence but the actual demand data is not as dire as you might think," he said.
"You have to keep going with what is actually happening, not what you think should happen."
While it is not directly relevant for the Australian barley sector, Mr Craig said the grains industry overall would benefit from the fact China's economic recovery has been quicker than anticipated.