Intervention butter selling is growing, keeping pace with the spring flush. Over 6,000t of butter have been sold into intervention over the last reporting period, much of it in Ireland. In the UK, intervention remains open at 91.3%. Compare the 533 tonnes that went into intervention and PSA stocks moving across from 94 tonnes at the end of last year's scheme to 80 tonnes at the beginning of this year's private storage scheme, and it is not difficult to discern which scheme is kinder to UK butter makers. Since interest rates in this country are higher than those on the continent, any UK PSA tonnages will not be fully covered for interest charges. This means that for UK traders, PSA is more useful for forward export consignments, using continental storage facilities which attract local interest rates. For this trade, now is a good time to buy ­ prices are as low as they will get and by June they can only have risen. The Irish, after holding back production as much as possible in the last weeks of the quota year, are now in full flow. The Republic is playing PSA for all it is worth, having stored over 1,500t of butter through this year's PSA. Although Irish intervention stocks have only moved by one tonne, this is deceptive, since the country has inteverned 3,570t since March 16. {{PROVISIONS }}

Topics