27 September 1996

Interest shifts back to buying

quota as leasing values rise

A SPATE of milk quota auctions early this week put leasing values at about 17.5p/litre.

"Up a penny in a month," says Symonds and Sampsons Lester Williams, who saw 590,000 litres, averaging 3.93% butterfat, make 17.4p/litre at Sturminster Newton, Dorset.

This price marks a slight fall, however, on some of the deals struck in the past couple of weeks.

Such firming of the leasing market, combined with doubts over the implementation of the governments cull, have focussed farmers attention back on buying quota, says Mr Williams. Typical butterfat samples have risen from 66p to about 70p/litre.

At Chelford, Cheshire, James Holdroyd of Frank R Marshall says the shortage of sale quota on offer has contributed to the recent rise in values, which he puts at between 3p and 5p/litre.

And this despite the likelihood of milk prices falling. (Chelfords Monday average was 17.62p/litre.)

Meanwhile, at Rugby, Warks Howkins and Harrisons saw lease quota average 17.7p/litre, with samples for permanent transfer making from 67p to 70.2p/litre.

By the middle of the week, the sale market remained firm, with clean Friesian quota worth between 70p and 73p/litre, according to Tony Carver of Bruton Knowles National Quota Exchange.

Demand for used quota is also buoyant, he says, with 50p to 55p/litre marking the typical range in values.

Although August milk production figures may have kept a lid on demand, rapidly-rising lease values and payment of milk cheques contributed to the recent increased interest, says Mr Carver. &#42