w/e Thursday, 6 November, 1997

By FWi staff

LOW prices make intervention the favourite destination for much of this years barley crop, say UK traders.

Sterling this week showed no sign of weakening and the domestic barley trade is quieter than ever.

Burgeoning supplies of export barley continue to be uncompetitively priced. Intervention offers growers much better returns.

Depending on quality, UK feed barley is currently trading at about £73/ t ex-farm – well below Novembers intervention price of £83.62/ t.

Sources expect increasing amounts of UK barley to be offered for intervention this month.

Growers selling for intervention will receive a premium of almost £4/  t over the current delivered price of £79/  t, says Andrew Dewing, a trader with Aylsham Grain Marketing, Norfolk.

Most East Anglian barley meets the necessary standards and the first batches will be offered into intervention “soon”.

Barley export availability this year is expected to reach 2.6m tonnes, according to MAFF forecasts. But restitution for any significant tonnage has yet to be granted by the EUs Management Committee.

Actual UK exports are unlikely to surpass last years 2.1m tonnes, which means intervention offers are forecast to reach at least 0.5m tonnes, according to the Home Grown Cereals Authority.