By FWi staff

AS the milk year ends, quota prices are holding firm. Producers are resigned to paying superlevy rather than entering the market, say agents.

A limited supply of clean quota is leaving producers struggling to find the volumes required, according to agents Bruton Knowles. Nevertheless, prices have remained constant over the past week at 54ppl for 4% butterfat.

Sales of used quota are also steady, despite a slight upward increase in demand. Supplies at 4% butterfat continue to trade at 6.5-7ppl, according to Ian Potter Associates.

The cost of forward leased supplies for the 1998/99 season has fallen slightly, according to agents Townsends. Lessees can expect to pay about 6ppl.

Back-to-back exchanges of quota look likely to end trading at about 17ppl. Demand remains high and supplies remain short. But producers should be aware that the difference between used and clean prices is approaching the superlevy cost and is greater than the current milk price.