Straw stability on the cards

10 September 1999

Straw stability on the cards

STRAW prices are expected to stabilise through to the year end as panic buying subsides, say merchants.

But, even so, there is resistance by producers in West Wales to pay what they call "silly money" for supplies, according to Michael Ball of Hereford.

That is despite values coming back to £40/t for big baled barley straw for bedding delivered to mid-Wales and £45/t for west Wales. "The difference in price covers the extra fuel. But the problem is that cattle and sheep prices are equally as depressed in both areas and producers in the west are being asked to pay more for supplies," says Mr Ball.

The British Hay & Straw Merchants weekly report shows little change in weekly spot prices for all regions. But, big baled barley straw is currently trading in South Wales at £30/t effectively leaving a £15/t margin for producers willing to haul supplies themselves.

Markets report a quick trade for supplies with the majority finding buyers. At Chelford, small baled barley levelled at £58/t and big bales at £56/t. Wheat straw was back at £44/t and £36/t, respectively.

At Uttoxeter, auctioneer Peter Oven says more loads are needed to satisfy demand. Overall, prices are slightly back on last week. &#42

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