Brokers talking up beet quota values
SUGAR beet quota prices are being talked up by brokers and should fall by at least £5-10/t, says an auctioneer who held the first open sale of contract tonnage this week.
Frederick Grounds, of Grounds and Co, March, Cambs, reported keen interest at the event, held at a hotel in the town on Wednesday. "We had 10,524t on offer and sold 2452t, one-third of the lots."
All tonnage below £25/t sold, but very little over £29/t, he said. "And the mileage allowance, worth 6p/t/mile, made no difference."
The sale, for farmers looking to relinquish or acquire quota within the Wissington and Bury factory areas under the recently agreed sugar beet outgoers scheme, attracted a full house, said Mr Grounds.
"But many farmers said that high prices being talked about by others in my profession are totally unsustainable. Its quite apparent that £20-25/t is more realistic."
Most brokers reported prices of £30-34/t this week depending on factory area and mileage allowance. British Sugar says about 150,000t of contract tonnage has now been transferred – about 2% of the national supply.
• The Inland Revenue has ruled how it will view sugar beet quota. For the purchaser, it will be considered an intangible asset which can be written off over five years. For vendors, it will be treated as trading income, although this can be offset against losses. *