By FWi Staff

SHEEP quota prices have fallen since the beginning of the trading period last week.

The price of lowland quota was £13 when trading started. It has now fallen to £10. English LFA quota has fallen to £26, although Welsh quota has held its price at £35.

Leasing prices have also taken a fall. Lowland quota prices have dropped to £3. English LFA quota took the largest fall, plummeting £5 yesterday (Tuesday) to £6. Welsh LFA quota remains at £9.

The fall in prices has been caused by a larger volume of quota coming onto the market, said Caroline Carr of quota agents Ian Potter Associates.

“It is a question of making supply meet demand, and at the moment supply slightly outweighs demand,” Ms Carr said.

More quota is yet to come onto the market, said Mark Bray of ADAS. But the volume available is likely to be less than during the past couple of years.

“Many buyers are not committing to buy at present,” Mr Bray said.

“With the possibility of MAFF doing away with the ring fences in 1999, it is expected that non-LFA prices could ease while LFA prices could harden. Many farmers are likely to take that into consideration this year.”

Nigel Asbry, of Townsend Quota Traders, said trading is always volatile when the market first opens. It will take a couple of weeks for the sector to calm down, he added.