Relief is on its way to drought-stricken farmers in Spain and Portugal. The European Commission has just authorised the transfer of excess cereal crops from other areas of Europe to feed cattle in the drought zone. Some 500,000 tonnes of cereal, mainly from Hungary and Slovakia, are now destined for Spain and 200,000 tonnes for Portugal. In mid-July, the Commission judged the drought in south western Europe was so severe it was likely to result in a 10 per cent drop in cereal production. This follows record crop levels last year. Madrid and Lisbon will benefit from so called ‘intervention’ stocks – those bought by Brussels when the price falls too low and then sold on again when the market corrects itself.