future exports of barley between the two countries. Winnipegbased
Richardson International recently had its registration to
ship Canola seed to China revoked as part of what Chinese officials
say is the result of efforts to stop the spread of disease, although
reports link the action to an ongoing diplomatic dispute between
the two countries.
“Yeah, no question, that’s definitely a concern. It’s always a
concern,” Watts said.
Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t other markets for Canadian
malt barley. Japan is one potential market as it relies heavily on
imports from Australia, which has produced smaller crops the past
two years due to drought-like conditions. Premium beer consumption
is also rising in a number of other Asian markets like South
Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines, as economic growth occurs
in those countries.
Still, Sich cautions that while anything is possible, Canada’s
geographic challenges can make exporting goods to other parts of
the globe a challenge.
“I think there’s a lot of brewers in other countries…who would
love to get their hands on our barley but it’s cost-prohibitive
for them,” he said. “The fact is we’re land-locked from Manitoba
through Alberta. Everything has to go through a saltwater port
at some point. That’s a long ways away and the rail freight and
the ocean freight makes our barley a little more costly than
other sources.” n
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Photos courtesy of Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre
SUMMER 2019 § POURED CANADA § 7