By FW staff
UNRELENTING pressure on straw supplies has kept prices high at recent auctions, but merchants now say demand is starting to waiver as producers draw in their purse-strings.
Christopher Trower of the Hay and Straw Merchants Association believes many traders are being forced to pay top whack for barley and wheat straw at auction just to keep themselves covered.
“There are still a lot of enquiries being made, but with prices for barley still between 70 and 100/tonne delivered, demand has definitely been hit.”
Paradoxically, buyers have been out in force at the two big pre-Christmas straw auctions in the Cotswolds and Berkshire.
Stow-based Tayler Fletchers offering saw nationwide competition taking about 5000 tonne off farms and leaving only two lots unsold.
Big bale hay in Claas quadrants sold at 25 apiece, mini Hesstons between 20 and 23.50 and 4ft round bales up to 18.50.
Straw trade was equally brisk with small bale barley making 1.50-2.06/bale and wheat at 1.33-1.75.
Dreweatt Neate saw a similar demand at Newbury with 2000 tonne swapping hands and a total clearance of all lots.
Barley averaged 84/tonne and wheat 68/tonne, reports the company.