By FWi staff

UK barley yields have been disappointing this season, down 700,000 tonnes to 7.1 million tonnes, reports David Walker of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority. “However, there will be no shortage of barley this year as 1.2 million tonnes went into intervention in 1997,” he said.

First reports from the HGCA show quality to be up on last year, with low nitrogens and good specific weights. “Although samples have been good so far, there is concern for the quality of barley still in the field,” said Mr Walker.

Traders have reported a very quiet market this week. This has been caused by producers having moved the barley they wanted and now concentrating on wheat, reckons merchant Paul Crump of N B Camber Ltd, Shropshire.

Feed prices crept up 50p/t yesterday, but remain at about £63/t ex-farm. They are expected to rise a further £1/t for October deliveries.

Demand is steady for malting varieties, with Chariot fetching £20/t over feed. Prices for Optic remain firm at £85/t and Alexis has traded as high as £90.