By FWi staff

THE UK barley market appears stagnant, with a lack of foreseeable export sales and limited farmer selling, leading to uncompetitive values.

New export opportunities remain limited, and this was reflected by the rejection of all bids for the third week running at the EU export awards, said Ian Wallis of Cargills.

Ex-farm spot prices slipped back about 60p/t over the week, while futures values dropped £2.25 to £73.50/t for May deliveries. However, barley still has the edge over feed wheat, at £2.40/t more than ex-farm wheat.

Selling is slow, with only 30 lots sold for May deliveries at LIFFE yesterday (Tuesday). This was attributed to a rise in Sterling, up at Euro1.4794 from E1.4705 on Monday, noted the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

But with Sterling moving lower last week intervention prices inched up at £84/t for deliveries made tomorrow (Thursday). “The support price has once again offered the best market for those still holding stocks of old crop barley,” said one trader.