Barley, a versatile, cereal grain that has a rich, nutlike flavor. The chewy consistency of the grain lends it a pasta-like appeal. The appearance of barley is akin to wheat berries, only a little lighter in color. When sprouted, barley is naturally very high in maltose. This sugar acts as the base for malt as well as syrup sweetener. When barley is fermented, it makes for a suitable ingredient in beer and numerous other alcoholic beverages. Over the years, several scientific studies have established that barley can help mitigate the risk of diseases and lend other health benefits.
Barley provides many of the healthy vitamins and minerals that other whole grains do. It is also an important source of carbohydrates, vitamin C, fatty oils, and proteins. This makes it an ingredient with several uses in the food industry. Traditionally, was primarily used as a food grain but its other uses as a natural sweetener and a brewing ingredient became known. Today, barley malt is extensively used for producing alcoholic beverages.
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Global Barley Market: Drivers and Restraints
An uptick in the demand for barley malt for the manufacture of alcoholic beverages is acting as a high-impact driver for the global barley market. This market is also propelled by the heightened demand for different kinds of convenience food products, emerging applications in the F&B industry, clean label trends, and an escalating demand for natural ingredients.
With consumers becoming more health conscious, they are cutting back on the consumption of alcohol and spirits, which is causing an adverse impact on the demand for barley malt. This has hampered the overall demand for barley, tugging the market in the downward direction. Moreover, there are other negative factors at play in the global barley market. These include: declining soil fertility, pest and disease infestation, and drastic changes in the climate. All of these have affected barley yields.
Global Barley Market: Segmentation
The global barley market can be segmented based on grade, type, application end use, and the method of barley cultivation. Based on type, the barley market can be segmented as hulless, covered, six-row barley, and two-row barley. Basis grade, the market for barley can be segmented into food grade, malt grade, and feed grade. Likewise, on the basis of application, this market can be segmented into: animal feed, food & beverages, seed industry, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals. Similarly, based on the method of cultivation, barley beans have been segmented as organic and inorganic.
Barley Market: Key Players
Among the key players that operate across the barley market value chain are: Cargill, Incorporated, Axereal Group, Malteurop Group, Grain crop Limited, Crisp Malting Group, Soufflet Group, Ireks Gmbh, Global Malt Gmbh & Co. Kg, and Muntons Plc.
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Geographically, the market for barley can be segmented into seven regions: Latin America, North America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ), Japan, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
As of crop year 2014-15, Australia stood as the leading producer of barley in the world. Its key trading partner was identified as China. The former supplied a major share of its barley produce to China. Besides China, Australia exported appreciable volume of barley in 2014 to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. France and Ukraine were also ranked among the leading suppliers of barley worldwide in 2014.