By FWi staff

By Robert Harris

GRAIN haulage rates on short-distance routes eased back in most areas last year, according to the latest figures from the Home-Grown Cereals Authority. But long-distance hauls tended to cost more.

On average, a 25-mile journey in Great Britain cost 4.48/t in 2001, 9p down on the year. A 75-mile haul showed no change at 6.61/t, but hauliers carrying grain for 125 miles asked an average of 8.74p/t, 9p more than in 2000.

However, these averages hide regional trends, though the HGCA points out that these were based on fewer forms and are therefore slightly less reliable.

Scotland proved to be the most expensive for the two shorter journeys at 5.03/t and 7.07/t, though both were a few pence cheaper than the year before.

The cheapest over 25 miles was the north-east, at 4/t, while the East Midlands charged the least for a 75-mile haul, averaging 6.03/t.

This region was also the cheapest over 125 miles, at 7.81/t. The south-east was the most expensive over that distance, at 9.16/t, though Scotland and the south-west ran close.

Over the past five years, the average cost for hauling grain 50 miles in Great Britain has risen by 10.8% to 5.54/t,and by 16% to 7.67/t for double the distance. But a 30-mile haul went up by just 9% to 4.69/t.