Calls for intervention as cereal prices plummet

EUROPEAN farming leaders have called on the European Commission to take drastic action to halt the decline in cereal prices following a 54 per cent drop in prices over the past year.

Farmers’ organisation Copa-Cogeca warned farmers and growers were being put in an ‘untenable economic situation’ as a result of the increasingly volatile cereals market.

Speaking in Brussels today (Friday, December 11) Paul Temple, chairman of the Copa-Cogeca working group on cereals said: “The cereals sector has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with a sharp drop in grain demand seen.

“EU cereal exports are lower than in the past year. Wheat prices have declined by as much as 54 per cent over the period January 2008 to November 2009. Whilst costs of production are rising significantly and access to credit is becoming an issue.

“Food security has become a priority and yet as farmers we rely on production failures to provide an economic return. This puts EU grain farmers in an untenable economical situation.”

He warned with a 5 per cent drop in the EU planting area this year, prices were likely to shoot up with potentially ‘catastrophic’ consequences for livestock farmers.

He said: “The extreme price volatility on the cereals market poses a major problem for EU grain producers and threatens the competitivity of the EU livestock sector.

“The functioning of the food chain must consequently be improved, and provide an economic return. Global reserves relative to consumption are still low and a fall in production increases the EU’s exposure to any kind of weather event or natural disaster.”

Readers' comments (8)

  • we keep on hearing about these low prices when is the farmer really going to see a good stable return year after year. may be they will wake up when all the farmers have had a gut full of it,an people are going hungry

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  • With regards to the Malting Barley situation is it not time that a stance is taken against the distilling industry after all to put £10.00 per tonne on the price of the barley is the equivalent to 1p on a bottle of whisky and with newer varieties giving a higher spirit yield it is obvious as to who is getting fleeced.

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  • After a 'private' medical I informed the Doctor his bill for a few minutes work was the equivalent to enough wheat for 800 loaves of bread, could he justify it? That shut him up for a bit. Try something similar with any of your suppliers and see if it makes them think!

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  • Jon , you idiot. He'll have put his price up by next week. You can be sure he was thinking:' Is that all!'
    ;)

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  • Isnt it about time the farmer/grower got a good price for a good product with prompt payment. Like any other industry! They will miss us when we've all gone.

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  • Please don't compensate with even wider tractors, heavier HGV's. They will only ruin rural roads, bridges and verges. I'd like to be on your side, farmers, but sooner or later the countyside will be unsuitable for farming.
    Hildegard

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  • Hildegard, if we don't start getting a better price thats the way it will go. Economies of scale and all that. I don't think you appreciate the true scale of what you are commenting on. And anyway, which profession produced the countryside we have today?

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  • Why do we as farmers/producers ever think we will get just rewards for our work when politically high food prices are a non starter.I'm fed up with hearing of 'better to come'. If ever a conspiracy theory could be encountered, try agriculture !!

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