Thursday, 27 November, 1997

By FWi staff

TRADE in barley is now at a virtual standstill and will continue to be quiet for some time to come, according to UK merchants.

This weeks minimal trade in both malting and feed barley looks likely to set the pace for December, unless Sterling weakens or export opportunities start to take off.

Prices this week remain low but steady, according to Home Grown Cereal Authority information. Feed barley was today fetching about £72/ t – unchanged on the week.

The strength of Sterling continues to restrict demand to all destinations expect intervention. The Pound is currently trading at DM2.94 and buyers of domestic barley are few and far between – whether at home or abroad.

LIFFE futures for January remain at £76/ t – well below the intervention price. As a result, more growers are taking increased advantage of the £83.62/ t offered by intervention rather than selling forward.

Offers of UK barley – which have now reached almost 40,000 tonnes – are expected to increase rapidly over the coming weeks, according to the Intervention Board in Reading.