21 December 2001

Payments rise with stronger k

By Andrew Shirley

LIVESTOCK headage payments are set to rise next year on the back of a slightly stronger k and an increase in subsidy rates.

The figures are set in ks and then converted to £s using the average exchange rate between the two currencies during December. If the current trend continues for the rest of this month the k should be worth about 62.4p, roughly 1p more than last year, according to NFU figures.

This means, after taking into account modulation deductions (increased to 3% for 2002), young bulls under the Beef Special Premium Scheme will receive £17/head more than 2001. Steers will qualify for about £9 extra.

Suckler cow producers will benefit as well, with payments boosted by up to £12. But slaughter premiums have risen the most significantly – cattle over seven months will get over 50% more at £48.40/beast.

"These figures are still provisional," stressed Derrick Wilkinson, chief economist at the NFU. "But I dont think the exchange rate will change too much by the end of the year. For once it looks like the rate has worked in our favour. In the past any increase in the k payments have often been wiped out by the value of the £."

Sheep payments were yet to be formally approved by Europe as this article went to press, but Mr Wilkinson reckoned the flat rate payment is likely to be around £13/head. &#42


2001 2002

k £ k £*

Steers 136 81.49 150 90.75

Bulls 185 110.85 210 127.05

SCP 182 109.05 200 121.00

SP calves 33 19.77 50 30.25

SP adults 53 31.76 80 48.40

* After 3% modulation.