1 December 1995

Maltsters joyous at subsidy boost

MALTSTERS have received an unexpected boost to their trade following the award of Brussels subsidies worth £20/t for 350,000t of malt to be sold outside the EU.

The announcement came hot on the heels of last weeks Scottish malting barley competition at which Institute of Brewing publicity chairman Robin Pirie accused the EC of undermining the trade by holding back on these restitutions.

The new measures take total export licences this season to 1.8m tonnes, which Mr Pirie says "should be enough to cover anticipated sales". UK exports, both inside and outside the EU, amount to about 400,000t, or a third of total production.

The premium for malting barley from harvest to the end of September has been £42.66/t above the average feed barley price of £102.75. And in the peak of the season some samples made £165/t.

Maltsters have already bought 750,000t of Scottish barley compared with 685,000t at the same time last year, says Mr Pirie.

"But the weakness of sterling, the world shortage and increasing demand from South America, the Pacific Rim countries and Europe mean we can buy at current levels and still make a profit." &#42