24 July 1998

Storage rules doubt

NEW in-situ storage rules for intervention grain are unlikely to be much help to the beleaguered market this season.

The provision – introduced for 5000t-plus stores in a bid to increase the choice and avoid the recent logistical logjam – is unlikely to be widely used, says UKASTA.

The associations boss, Jim Reed, suggests the delivery cost adjustment (which reduces the intervention price by the amount that would otherwise have been spent on haulage to the nearest IB store) could make it an unattractive option. So if market prices remain weak and intervention is a preferred outlet, a build-up of pressure could occur after November.

Michael Banks, of Banks Agriculture says, people may be reluctant to use the scheme because it ties up the store until the Intervention Board shifts the grain. "You might be kissing goodbye to it for two years."

Rob Sanderson of SCATS says co-ops will probably give it the thumbs-down. "We like to be as near to empty by the end of June as possible – ready for the next seasons crop." &#42