Canada produces 8 million tonnes of barley, including malt and feed varieties, and is the fourth largest barley producer in the world after Germany, France and Russia. Canada’s main barley producing provinces are Saskatchewan and Alberta and, to a lesser extent, Manitoba and British Columbia.
Barley has a variety of uses including livestock feed, beer and whisky production, and, in smaller amounts, as an ingredient in the food-processing sector.
80% of Canada’s barley production is used domestically as livestock feed in Canada’s domestic cattle, hog, poultry and sheep sectors. A small amount of this is also exported – primarily to Japan (mainly for beef and hogs) and Saudi Arabia (mainly for camels).
The remaining 20% of Canada’s barley production will be used in the malting industry both in Canada and oversees. About half of this barley will be exported unprocessed for malting overseas and the remaining product will be malted in Canada and sold to the domestic brewing industry or exported in its processed form.
World demand and trade in barley continues to grow with demand being driven by countries with rapidly expanding beer production, including China, Russia and Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. In 2014 Canada exported $494 million in barley. Canada’s barley exports are mainly destined for China (39%), the United States (34%) and Japan (17%).
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