By FWi staff

CLEAN and used quota prices have now closed within 2ppl of each other, although agents believe that they have now settled.

Interest for used quota continues to be steady and with an adequate supply prices remain stable, said a spokesman from ADAS Quota Direct.

Quota of 4% butterfat is at 32ppl with 3.70% at 30ppl.

The volume of clean quota entering the market continues to be high although demand is limited. Prices inched back slightly with 4% butterfat at 34ppl and 3.66% at 31ppl.

Although we continue to be a long way behind quota, the extra premium for clean quota seems small enough for some producers to justify an insurance policy – and release their milk cheques, said one trader.

The Intervention Boards quarterly experts group meeting held last week revealed that the net permanent conversions for this year amount to a net 19 million litre gain in wholesale quota, said a spokesman from quota agents, Lovedays.

“In other words we are 19 million litres further under quota than we thought,” he said.

But the Intervention Board stressed that this could all change over the next few weeks, and revised figures would be released at the end of the month.

The other news to come out of the meeting is that the 1999 leasing fee will remain at £22 inclusive of VAT.

With a steady demand and supply on the forward lease market, little change has taken place.

Quota of 4% butterfat is trading at 6.9ppl, while 3.79% is at 6.6ppl, down slightly on last year.

The market has been cautious, said Mark Dyson of Exeter-based agents Townsend Chartered Surveyors. “Most of the trade was early in the month and we do not expect to move substantial volumes now until April,” he said.