Barley is a versatile and useful crop with applications ranging from feed and food production to beverage manufacturing. Most barley grown in the United States is contracted for malting purposes.
Fifty-nine countries bought U.S. barley in 2017/2018 and exports totaled nearly 550,000 metric tons (25.3 million bushels), including for the Japanese food barley market as well as brewers in Mexico.
In Japan, the Council promotes high beta-glucan barley as an alternative grain for the health-conscious consumer. Through a series of educational seminars on the health benefits of barley and reverse trade missions with the Japanese barley industry, the Council has helped steadily increase imports of U.S. barley in Japan as well as increase consumer awareness.
Mexico purchased nearly 400,000 tons (18.4 million bushels) of barley valued at $209 million this last marketing year. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. barley and malt enter Mexico duty-free, making them attractive options for beer makers who depend on malt and malted barley imports due to the lack of malting capacity in Mexico.