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Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Jordan Import the Most Barley in the Middle East

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Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Jordan Import the Most Barley in the Middle East

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Middle East – Barley – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2019, the Middle Eastern barley market increased by 8.4% to $5B, rising for the second consecutive year after four years of decline. Overall, consumption recorded a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2013 when the market value increased by 16% y-o-y. As a result, consumption reached a peak level of $7.6B. From 2014 to 2019, the growth of the market failed to regain momentum.

Consumption by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of barley consumption in 2019 were Turkey (7.5M tonnes), Iran (5.3M tonnes), and Saudi Arabia (4.2M tonnes), together comprising 82% of total consumption. These countries were followed by Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, and the Syrian Arab Republic, which together accounted for a further 12%.

From 2007 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Kuwait, while barley consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Turkey ($1.9B), Iran ($1.2B), and Saudi Arabia ($998M) were the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2019, together accounting for 82% of the total market. Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, and the Syrian Arab Republic lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 12%.

The countries with the highest levels of barley per capita consumption in 2019 were Kuwait (140 kg per person), Saudi Arabia (121 kg per person), and Turkey (91 kg per person).

Production in the Middle East

Barley production shrank modestly to 11M tonnes in 2019, approximately reflecting 2018. Over the period under review, production saw a relatively flat trend pattern.

Turkey (7M tonnes) remains the largest barley producing country in the Middle East, accounting for 65% of total volume. Moreover, barley production in Turkey exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest producer, Iran (2.8M tonnes), threefold. Iraq (557K tonnes) ranked third in terms of total production with a 5.2% share.

In Turkey, barley production remained relatively stable over the period from 2007-2019. In other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Iran (-0.9% per year) and Iraq (-2.4% per year).

Harvested Area and Yield in the Middle East

In 2019, approx. 6.1M ha of barley were harvested in the Middle East; waning by -1.6% against the previous year. In general, the harvested area recorded a mild contraction.

In 2019, the average yield of barley in the Middle East totaled 1.8 tonnes per ha, stabilizing at the previous year’s figure. Over the period under review, the barley yield reached the peak level at 2 tonnes per ha in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2019, the yield remained at a lower figure.

Imports in the Middle East

After two years of growth, supplies from abroad of barley decreased by -2.8% to 10M tonnes in 2019. Overall, imports, however, showed a relatively flat trend pattern.Over the period under review, imports hit record highs at 13M tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2019, imports stood at a somewhat lower figure. In value terms, barley imports totaled $2.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.

Imports by Country

Saudi Arabia was the main importing country with an import of about 4.2M tonnes, which amounted to 42% of total imports. It was distantly followed by Iran (2.6M tonnes), Jordan (0.9M tonnes), Kuwait (0.6M tonnes), and Turkey (0.6M tonnes), together committing a 46% share of total imports. The following importers – the United Arab Emirates (383K tonnes) and Israel (359K tonnes) – each comprised a 7.4% share of total imports.

From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of purchases, amongst the key importing countries, was attained by Iran, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Saudi Arabia ($966M), Iran ($546M), and Jordan ($213M) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2019, together accounting for 74% of total imports.

Import Prices by Country

In 2019, the barley import price in the Middle East amounted to $231 per tonne, increasing by 6.4% against the previous year. In general, the import price, however, showed a perceptible downturn. Over the period under review, import prices reached the maximum at $307 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2019, import prices remained at a lower figure.

Average prices varied noticeably amongst the major importing countries. In 2019, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in Jordan ($248 per tonne) and Kuwait ($231 per tonne), while Israel ($209 per tonne) and Iran ($213 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Iran, while the other leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform