Barley is considered to be the fourth most important
crop (in terms of quantity produced) in the world after maize, wheat
and rice. It is an annual cereal grain crop that is consumed as
a major food and feed for the animals. Barley is rich in starch
and sugar, and low in fat and protein. A large part of barley is
used as animal feed; while the remainder is used for malting and
is a key ingredient in beer and whisky production.
EU-27 was the largest producer of barley in 2007-08, followed by
Russia, Canada, Turkey and Ukraine. Nearly all of the barley producers
are major consumers. Thus, EU-27 was the largest consumer in 2007-08,
followed by Russia, Canada, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
The major exporters of barley in 2007-08 were the EU-27 followed
by Canada, Australia, Ukraine and Russia. Saudi Arabia was the largest
importer in 2007-08, importing around 6 million tonnes. The other
major importers of barley are Japan, China, Morocco and Tunisia.