14 September 2001

Terrorist attacks in US halt the forward sales of feedstuffs

SOME compounders have stopped forward sales of feed following the terrorist attacks on the US on Tuesday.

The main concern is the uncertainty over oil prices and the effect on delivery costs to the UK, though the cost of raw materials is also a worry, said UKASTA policy director Paul Rooke.

"Until we have a clearer picture of what additional measurs the US will take in reaction to events and until the financial and commodity markets are re-opened, it remains very unclear what impact there will be on the availability and price of imported raw materials.

"Additionally, there is now a considerable amount of volatility in the oil market, the outcome of which cannot yet be predicted."

However, with reasonable levels of buffer stocks available, no immediate impact on current feed deliveries is expected. "But it is important that farmers are aware their normal pattern of forward buying of feed may be disrupted," said Mr Rooke.

But he expected the action taken by compounders to be temporary. Oil prices jumped sharply on the day of the attacks, fuelled by fears of Arab involvement and a US retaliatory strike, but they eased back on Wednesday.

The oil-producing cartel OPEC said it would continue to guarantee the stability of the oil market and analysts were also reported as confirming there was plenty of spare OPEC capacity to meet demand. &#42