By FWi Staff

UK intervention stores opened on Sunday, 1 November. With current delivered feed barley prices more than £2/t below support values, offers are at over 20,000 tonnes in the first working day, reports the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

Intervention looks a good market, particularly in January, depending on what happens with currency, said Banks Agriculture economist Mark Buckingham.

So far this week as much as 36,000t has been offered for intervention. This falls dramatically short of the 500,000t predicted earlier in the season.

“Its difficult to draw conclusions in response to how intervention is progressing,” said Mr Buckingham. “However, it appears to be slower than in 1997.”

Availability of barley for export and intervention is put at 2.4 million tonnes by the HGCA. This takes into account the 1.2 million tonnes carried into 1998/99 in UK stores.

“This suggests that if barley exports, from either free markets or intervention stores, reach last seasons total, UK intervention stocks may not rise this season,” said Mr Buckingham

The price offered for intervention barley at present is £83.91/t delivered to the centre, less haulage. Farmers are responsible for the first 25 miles of transport. Quality bonuses or discounts apply.

Ex-farm barley prices crept up to about £76.80/t this week.