5 September 1997

All cleared at quota auction

PEOPLE leasing out milk quota have become more realistic about setting reserve prices.

So says Lester Williams of Symonds and Sampson, after the total clearance of 830,346 litres at last Fridays (Aug 22) leasing auction at Yeovil.

People looking for quota still want the market to fall; those leasing out still want it to rise. "But as the season unfolds, vendors seem a bit more willing to go with the trade," says Mr Williams. Prices at Yeovil ranged from 9p to 10.6p/litre, averaging 9.8p/litre.

Beeston also hosted an auction on the same day, where prices ranged between 8.9p and 10.8p/ litre. The average was 9.9p/litre.

Only a small amount of the 1.75m litres entered failed to change hands.

Justin Lowe of Greenslade Taylor Hunt says prices were still about 10p/litre early this week.

But fewer leasing deals had been done than by the corresponding point in previous years. "Everyone could jump into the market at the same time and price economics could go out the window."

Meanwhile more quota is being sold and this has kept sale prices flat at about 46p or 47p/litre, he says.