By FWi staff

DOMESTIC barley markets are very quiet, with no real demand other than intervention, said Heike Hintze of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

With the difficulty involved in getting boats together it is more profitable for producers to market their feed barley into intervention. “However farmers seem reluctant to sell at current prices,” she said.

“And if the barley doesnt meet the quality criteria for intervention, then its difficult to know what to do with it.”

Not a single future has been traded over the past few days at LIFFE, and only 222 lots of barley futures have been traded in the last 2 weeks, said Ms Hintze. “Of which 150 were traded in one day.”

Feed barley prices climbed £1.80 this week to about £77.80/t.

However, Ian Wallis of Cargill plc believes exports have found god support from the promising start to this years export campaign.

“This is mainly the result of relatively strong demand, primarily from Saudi Arabia. This has led to values trading up to around the support level, he said.”

Since the beginning of the month a total of 41,388 tonnes of barley has been offered for intervention.

“But with a large amount of barley still in intervention stores, any short-term price rises are likely to limited,” warned Mr Wallis.