Saskatchewan barley industry responds to Saudi Arabia trade issues

Saskatoon, SK The Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley) is concerned by the announcement earlier this week that the Saudi Arabia Grains Organization is suspending future purchases of Canadian barley.

Canada is the fourth-largest producer of barley in the world and we rely on exporting our barley to ensure the future of our farmers and industry.

However, while the loss of any export markets is undesirable, Saudi Arabia is a relatively small market. The country purchased 130,000 tonnes of barley in 2017, which is approximately 1.5% of total Canadian barley production. From March 2014—March 2016, Saudi Arabia did not purchase any Canadian barley, and no Canadian barley has been purchased to date in 2018.

“Saskatchewan, and Canadian barley, is known for being consistently high quality and there is demand for it worldwide,” says Jason Skotheim, SaskBarley Chair.

“While we are always disappointed by trade disruptions, we have confidence in our government and our national value chain to respond to trade concerns and work with our global trading partners to maintain and optimize relationships and opportunities for our producers.”