Cereals and their costs have been much talked in recent months, and they were the protagonists in the last International Fair of Animal Production, Figan 2011. Traders – stockists, multinational and feed manufacturers – showed their disagreement with the European Union as they do not intervene in prices and demanded the implementation of the Late Payment Legislation.

«A free market is a market without law,» criticized Francisco Alvarez, president of the Association of Cereal and Oil Marketers of Spain (ACCO), which comprises 80% of wholesalers in Spain and manages over 70% of cereal moves in the country. «We want to return again to intervention prices, with a reasonable price for the farmer but not as high as now because it makes livestock suffer so much,» he said. In his view, the rise of grain prices this year is «largely», promoted by «commodity funds that immobilize most of the cereals in the world, retain, create news, even untrue, saying there is scarcity and when the market goes up what they want, release the lot, sell and keep the money. » Regarding the farmer, «he takes advantage depending on when he sells, but those who make the profit are those who control the process, not the cereal,» he added.

They also ask for the fulfillment of the Late Payment Legislation as they do not want to extend payments beyond 30 days – the current maximum credit period for non-perishable products such as cereal is  85 days -.»We are traders, not financiers, and many companies do not merit the risk that we are endorsing,» he said.

In this sense, some cereal cooperative societies confirm that recently feedstuff manufacture has been reduced between 10% and 15% because livestock producers could not buy any more. The problem is that the increase in prices is not passed along to consumers because the supermarkets act almost as a monopoly. They have a bad year in general and they are taking high risks as they are traders, not financiers and many companies do not deserve the risk they are endorsing.

Source: El Periódico de Aragón. Economía.


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