Short supplies of barley look set to force German beer prices in the country's on-trade up by 40%, a leading figure in the industry has warned.

A report in the UK newspaper the Independent on Sunday quoted head of the German brewers' association, Richard Weber who believes the hefty rise in prices is likely because German farmers are growing less barley for beer production and more crops for biodiesel and bioethanol.

He said that the German barley crop has been halved this year and that prices have soared by 50% in 12 months.

"The energy and food sectors are competing for the same raw materials and the same acreage," Weber was quoted saying.