Canada makes rare import of European barley after drought
Canada, one of the world’s top barley exporters, is importing a rare cargo from Europe after drought decimated its harvest last year.
France’s Rouen port is set to load its first-ever barley cargo for Canada, on the bulk carrier Federal Spey, according to a spokesman for the port operator. The North American nation hasn’t imported significant volumes from the European Union since the 2015-16 season, trade data show.
Canada is typically largely self-sufficient in barley and ranked as the fifth-biggest exporter in the 2020-21 season, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. But its output shrank by a third last year to the smallest since the 1960s as heat and dryness plagued its prairies. The drought has also shifted trade flows for other grains such as corn.
For barley, the poor harvest has added to a global supply crunch for the grain used in brewing and animal feed, with stockpiles set to reach an almost four-decade low, according to the USDA. Beer makers have also faced rising aluminum costs and labor and transport bottlenecks, spurring price hikes for the beverage.
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