Friday, 21 November, 1997

By FWi staff

BARLEY prices remained subdued this week, prompting more farmers to offer low-quality grain into intervention.

Free-market activity continues to be suppressed by the continued strength of Sterling and a lack of export demand from shippers, say traders.

Market prices are similar to last week. Ex-farm feed barley is now trading at about £71/ t, less deductions for poor quality samples.

Intervention is still the most profitable outlet for many crops and barley accepted during November will return £83.62/ t.

Over 10,000 tonnes of barley were offered into intervention this week, taking the total amount submitted to 23,312 t since doors opened. So far, however, only 91 t has been accepted and stored.

Prices show few signs of picking up over the coming months, say analysts. Barley futures contracts for January are trading at less than £77/ t and March futures are little better.

On the export front, UK barley remains as uncompetitive as ever.

Other EU countries are having similar difficulties selling overseas. Brussels rejected all bids for exports of barley to ACP countries, yesterday – including one from France to export 163,000 twith refunds at Ecu19.69-26.95/ t.