By Robert Harris
LEASED milk quota prices fell this week after a sharper than expected fall in milk output and a rise in quota supplies, the first time values have dropped significantly this season.
Latest Intervention Board figures confirm a 7.3 million litre drop in September butterfat adjusted production. And provisional figures for October show output was 13.2m litres (1.17%) below quota, at 1.116 billion litres.
The combination creates a cumulative deficit for the season of 3.5 million litres, 93 million litres below last years level. Although this is only about three days supply, it was enough to knock prices back, says Charles Holt, of the Farm Consultancy Group.
“The asking prices from all agents have dropped.” He values 4% adjusted supplies at 8.7ppl, down 0.5p.
The fall in milk output could be due to poor weather, in which case production could easily bounce back. But Yorks producer and Farmers Quota Bank member Geoff Bean doubts it. “Producers will struggle to make quota. There has been the biggest haemorrhaging of milk producers and cows ever. And there is not the feed value in the silage; no sun equals no sugar equals no oomph.”
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