8 November 1996

Barley intervention

BARLEY was being offered into intervention this week as the currency-induced price slide continued.

As FW went to Press on Wednesday (Nov 6) it had reached £90/t ex-farm, with feed wheat even less at £89/t, though there were signs they could be bottoming out. "At this level, intervention could earn about a £2 bonus," said Richard Whitlock of Banks Agriculture.

At these levels, farmers with lower yields and little sold were looking at a 60% fall in profits compared with what they would have got by selling all their crop forward in April, he added. But they should remember that the past two years were exceptional and even at £90/t, grain is £10 higher than originally planned under the McSharry reforms of 1992.

John Reading of Continental said there had been active farmer selling at these levels, especially from those who have already sold most of their crops and are now looking to clear their bins. "But those who have sold nothing are still sitting tight, refusing to admit things wont come right." &#42