Tightest Barley Carryout Ever Says USDA

Tightest barley stocks ever. That’s what the October WASDE showed us Thursday, October 11th. Where were the changes made though?

On Thursday, October 11th, the USDA released the October WASDE report, which gave us further insight into global and American barley production and carryout numbers for 2018/19.

Let’s dig in:

The USDA lowered  2018/19 American barley production by 3 million bushels from the September WASDE estimate of 156 million bushels. This new production number of 159 million bushels (or 3.46 million metric tonnes if converting bushels to tonnes). would also be +8% year-over-year.

Two weeks ago, we discussed the slow barley harvest a fair bit, but we also mentioned the USDA’s estimate of American harvested acreage. This production number is off a total harvested barley acreage of 2 million acres, +2 % year-over-year. This intuitively means that average American barley yields came in at 77.4  bushels per acre, +7% year-over-year.


Back in September, the USDA was estimating that 2018/19 American barley ending stocks would come in at 96 million bushels. The USDA is now estimating that America will go into the 2019/20 crop year with 88 million bushels of barley.


In the September WASDE, we noted clearly how global barley carryout for 2017/18 stocks were revised to 19.21 MMT, up 160,000 MT from the August WASDE estimate

In this month’s WASDE, the USDA said that 2017/18 global barley carryout will come in at 19.2 MMT.

For the 2018/19 crop year, the USDA is now forecasting global barley carryout at 17.4 MMT, a record low.

The reason for the decline has been strong demand, but also some production hurdles by a few major players.

While the Canadian barley crop might have the least production issues in the world (harvest notwithstanding), Australia is the opposite. The USDA is estimating a 7.8 MMT barley crop, whereas ABARES has an estimate of 8.33 MMT from a month ago. As a reminder, this new estimate from the Aussie USDA s about 1 MMT below ABARES’ previous estimate in June.

Going into this weekend’s GrainCent Barley Digest, we’ll be digging into these numbers a bit more, in addition to:

  • European barley production and exports; and
  • Changing trade flows thanks to trade deals.


See you Sunday morning!

H/T: October WASDE
About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of FarmLead.com, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.