Cereals event fails to germinate optimism

THERE were almost as many views as there were plots of grain at yesterday's well attended Cereals 2010 event held in Cambridgeshire but few of the opinions carried any great optimism for the cereal sector.

In looking forward to this year's malting barley market, Steve Rowley, operations director at Simpsons Malt, Berwick-on-Tweed, acknowledged that the market needed more certainty. He hoped this would come by harvest time when there would be some more end users prepared to place orders.

He described the growing crop as "variable", especially among spring sowings where poor establishment followed by drought would affect yield potential. In normal times, fertiliser prices for the coming season would already have been issued but this year, the main players are holding back. Tove Anderson, managing director of Yara in the UK indicated an announcement was imminent.

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She described the market as "quite balanced" with most plants working and carryover stocks being low. "World ammonia prices are higher at the moment, mostly because of industrial demand as the world economy picks up." The other two main ingredients of fertilisers; phosphate and potash, are mined to meet demand and are currently very stable, she said.