5 April 2002

Intervention base for barley

FEED barley prices have found a base in the form of intervention.

Over 1500t of barley has been offered into stores in the past two weeks, at about £2/t premium to domestic feed or export prices.

Centaur Grains Richard Jenner reckons there is about 20% of the crop still to be sold, and with few maltsters coming to the market and poor export demand, that leaves just domestic feed compounders or intervention as homes.

"There has been a significant increase in usage [of barley] by feed compounders this year," says Mr Jenner. But DEFRA statistics show there is still a 1m tonne surplus, and barley prices have fallen by £8/t since mid-January.

Intervention quality barley is worth about £62/t delivered into store. But compounders in the north-west of England are having to pay about £67/t delivered.

Meanwhile, new crop is trading slightly above intervention, at about £64/t delivered, which makes it export-competitive.

"In theory, new crop barley cant go down a great deal more," says Mr Jenner. &#42