Shy demand sees hay and straw prices drop Â¤5/bale
Hay and straw prices are under downward pressure due a general lack of demand and plentiful supplies.
Following a huge burst of haymaking in the second week of this month, prices have slipped by €5/bale to €18-27 for good 4x4s. This is back by at least €3 on last year on a like-for-like basis. The best value appears to be had in Limerick where good hay is available for €18/bale, while hay in Tipperary and Meath is at €20-23/bale.
Transport is generally being quoted at €3-5/bale, depending on distance. One Cork supplier quoted €20 for 7x3x2 bales. Small squares were being sold at €2.50/bale in Wicklow, €3/bale in Meath, and €3.80 delivered from Tipperary.
Straw prices are back by €2-3 for round bales on last year, with sellers becoming more anxious to move volume.
Barley straw on the flat has come back from €80/ac last year to €50/ac this year, despite expectations of a slightly lighter bale count per acre, especially in the case of spring barley. Some deals have been done for wheaten straw at as little as €40/ac.
New barley 4x4 round bales are making upwards of €10/bale. The keenest prices quoted at the end of last week were to be found in Kildare and Tipperary. Delivery is being quoted at up to €5/bale. Coolmore is reported to be paying €14/bale for delivered 4x4s. This is down by €2.50/bale on last year and new moisture and weight tests are also being carried out on loads arriving at the yards.
Few big squares have been made yet, although it looks like prices will be back by as much as €5/bale on last year, with 8x4x3s at €20-25 while mushroom composters in the southeast are quoting €22 for the big squares before baling.
IFA grain committee chairman Noel Delany said that a good trade is also emerging from across the Border for barley straw in big bales for feeding, which are being sold at €30/bale loaded out of the field.