By FWi staff
BARLEY prices have firmed over the week on the back of weaker currency, lower yields in France and Southern Europe and the possibility of exports to the Far East.
Feed barley ex-farm spot prices are currently about £68.5/t, with September futures up at £74.50/t. November futures have also risen at £76.50/t.
Early samples indicate low nitrogen, although too few samples have yet been analysed to be truly representative of the entire crop, said a spokesman from the Home-grown Cereals Authority (HGCA).
Preliminary results are expected from the HGCA cereal quality survey next month.
It is estimated that between 25% and 30% of the UK barley crop has been combined. Yields have been good so far, averaging almost 7.5t/ha (3.0t/acre).
Although barley quality is encouraging, a few concerns have been raised over low nitrogen levels, with the samples tested so far typically below the 1.55% to 1.75% required by malsters, said Cargills Ian Wallis.
“Wet conditions through the winter which encouraged nitrate leaching are believed to be responsible,” he added.
Traders continue to report little movement, with farmers being busy on the combine given as the main reason.
But a further explanation for this is the high percentage of Fanfare and Regina winter barley grown in England.
This results in a time lag before selling and moving while it is determined whether the barley is of malting quality.