14 July 1995

Electronic auction reflects easing of milk quota market

By Tim Relf

IN LINE with the recent easing of the market, AgVisions first electronic auction of milk quota saw 212,459 litres lease to an average 11.74p/litre.

Sales immediately afterwards took that total to over 500,000 litres. But, compared with a total entry of over 1m litres, business was described as "sticky". Prices included 11.5p/litre for 3.65% butterfat quota and 12p/litre for 3.77% and 3.84%, but many lots failed to reach their reserve.

Slow demand for quota could be affected by latest figures released by the Intervention Board which show production in the three months to the end of June to be 2.86% over quota.

"I cant see these figures leading to a mad rush for quota," said Tony Carver of Bruton Knowles National Quota Exchange. "But there will be an increased activity.

"The end of the month could be busier, too, as the next set of production figures become available and many farmers will also have received their 6th payments."

Supplies more plentiful

But, like many agents, he points out that quota supplies are more plentiful. This should prevent values reaching last years levels.

Although the leasing market is quiet, buyers from Northern Ireland are helping to keep the sale market busy, said Justin Lowe at Yeovil-based R B Taylor.

He has seen clean quota steady at about 59p/litre. "People selling are more realistic about prices than those leasing."