13 October 1995

Cereal export ban to go on

THE EUs ban on cereal exports to third countries will continue until the end of the year and a grain export tax cannot be ruled out, says Andrew Barnard, Dalgetys arable crop marketing manager.

Facing considerable pressure to reduce cereal prices, the commission would continue to restrict export licences to all but specified destinations, he predicted at a news conference at Gleneagles on Tuesday (Oct 10).

"I can understand the pressure," said Mr Barnard. "There are only 1.5m tonnes of wheat in intervention." And intensive livestock producers want lower feed prices, too, he pointed out.

"But I am concerned that as a trading bloc we are losing markets to the US and Eastern Europe and, once lost, these outlets may be lost forever," he added.

Barley downgraded

Meanwhile, downward price pressure within the feed barley sector was predicted by Edward Rust, Scottish crop marketing manager. A lot of spring barley had been downgraded from malting to feed due to the flooding, he said. He forecast a surplus in this sector of 159,000t.

Overall, total barley production in Scotland this year was 1.6m tonnes, up by 14% on the year. Wheat production, meanwhile, rose by 4.6% to 870,000t. But there would be a Scottish deficit of 53,500t, which, coupled with strong markets in Europe, would ensure prices remained high. &#42