Webinars to propel Australian barley exports into Latin America after the loss of the Chinese market

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
Barley ready to be harvested.
Camera IconBarley ready to be harvested. Credit: Cally Dupe

Australia’s $600 million malt barley industry is edging its way into the lucrative Latin American markets with a series of new webinars targeted at barley-buyers hoped to propel exports beyond the 107,000 tonnes CBH Group has sent to Mexico this year.

WA-based Australian Export Innovation Centre produced the webinar series which launched on October 26 with a webinar focused on Mexico and Colombia.

More than 15 webinars are expected to be held during the next year, with the next on November 3 targeted at Ecuador, and the third on November 9 at Peru.

Each has been designed to promote the quality, value and functionality of Australian malting barley.

AEGIC barley markets manager Mary Raynes said the webinars aimed to tell the “great story” about the quality of Australian barley and the supply chain underpinning it.

She said industry was particularly looking to Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru to take up some of the supply after the loss of the Chinese market last year.

Each webinar features high profile presenters from Grain Trade Australia, Barley Australia, Grains Industry Market Access Forum and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“These interactive sessions give us the chance to share this and answer questions that buyers may have,” she said.

“Each of the webinars are conducted live with simultaneous translation for each market, so no matter where someone is they can join and ask questions in their local language”.

Participants can register and submit questions to AEGIC prior to each webinar.

AEGIC barley markets manager Mary Raynes.
Camera IconAEGIC barley markets manager Mary Raynes. Credit: AEGIC

Australian grain marketers have been working overtime to try and make up lost ground after effectively losing the Chinese market more than a year ago.

China banned barley imports from CBH —Australia’s biggest grain exporter — in September last year, three months after introducing major tariffs on Australian barley.

The tariffs included a 73.6 per cent anti-dumping duty and a 6.9 per cent countervailing duty and came in the wake of an 18-month anti-dumping investigation.

Australia’s grains industry was expected to take a $2.5 billion hit because China would traditionally pay between a $30 to $40 per tonne premium for Australian barley.

CBH made history in made history on January 17 when it completed its first shipment of malt barley to the world’s largest beer exporter Mexico.

The move was hailed as a win for diversification and a move away from overwhelming dependence on the Chinese market.

The 35,000 tonnes was sold to Heineken through CBH’s International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Scheme and likely ended up in Sol, Dos Equis and Tecate beer.

CBH this week revealed it had sent another two shipments of malt barley to Mexico — with the three totalling 107,000 tonnes — and two shipments to Peru and Ecuador, totalling 58,000 tonnes.

These interactive sessions give us the chance to share this and answer questions that buyers may have.

Mary Raynes

Australian grain exporters are also targeting Ethiopia as another potential malt barley market with AEGIC hosting a webinar for its barley buyers on October 13.

That webinar focused on the quality and value of Australian malt barley, as well as delivering practical advice on how to optimise value for the Ethiopian beer industry.

It featured Barley Australia executive chair Megan Sheehy, Grain Trade Australia chief executive Pat O’Shannassy, and GIMAF executive manager Tony Russell.

Ms Raynes said Australian malting barley should be an attractive option in Ethiopia.

“There is good potential for growth in demand for beer in Ethiopia, and Australian malting barley is well placed to enter this market,” she said.

“Australian barley has an excellent reputation globally thanks to a very strong breeding program and the robust accreditation program.

“There will be a healthy volume of malting barley available for export this season and we’re expecting some strong interest from Ethiopia.”

AEGIC’s webinars are supported by the Australian Trade Market Access Cooperation program.

The project aims to deliver more diverse market options for Australian malting barley, ultimately resulting in greater market access for growers.

To find out more or register to the webinars, visit aegic.org.au/events.

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