‘Malting barley growers have the option to hedge 60% of their total contract’

Malting barley growers now have the option to hedge 60% of their total contract in 10% lots, subject to a maximum of 20% in one day, according to the IFA’s Mark Browne.

Speaking recently, the IFA Grain Committee member said that this hedging price will continue to be calculated on the December 2016 French Matif wheat futures prices.

According to Browne, this option will be facilitated on Wednesday each week and can be carried out on the phone or by email with the growers local Boortmalt representative.

Farmers who decide to hedge will be sent a confirmation letter for each hedging transaction which will also contain information relating to previous hedging deal, he said.

However, despite the change in the hedging policy, the fixed price offer remains the same as year, this allows growers to fix up to 20% of their total contract at five or 10% at a time.

Furthermore, the dates for the fixed price offers in 2016 are February 24, April 27 and June 29 and these prices will be determined by various market factors.

The IFA representative added that the IFA’s Malting Committee looked for an adjustment to the Matif Model Price which would have been beneficial to malting barley growers.

However, he said that there will be no changes to this pricing structure as Boortmalt felt that previous changes made to the model were fair to farmers relative to feed barley and other malting prices in the EU.

Furthermore, he added that issue regarding the 75%-25% low and medium protein split will not be written into this years malting contract following a vote taken at a recent meeting.

This was also the case for seed pricing, he added, as farmers rejected the idea of seed prices being based on their yield potential.

Moreover, new growers will not receive contract tonnage or the option to hedge for the 2016 harvest as Boortmalt say this is not possible from its perspective.

Browne added the IFA had hoped that a delivery allowance for malting barley would be introduced, but this will not happen for grain grown in 2016 as Boortmalt are currently examining this issue.