AFTER a last ditch effort by Brussels to boost overseas sales of barley, the European Commission last week rejected all bids for export refunds on the crop.
The EU Management Committee had previously granted refunds for 1 million tonnes of barley at a special “one-day offer” rate of Ecu47/ tonne. But officials meeting last Thursday turned down applications for any more export licences.
Meanwhile, more than one million tonnes of UK barley have now been offered into intervention. Economists at the Home-Grown Cereals Authority say that total end-of-season stocks this year could now total 1.2m tonnes.
Intervention barley now makes a premium of some £13/ tonne above the free market price and open market trade remains as quiet as ever. Ex-farm barley is selling for £68/ tonne and May futures are fetching £75/ tonne.