Reference year doubts lead to SFP uncertainties
Uncertainty over the reference year for future single farm payments (SFP) pushed speculation on SFP entitlements into overdrive in the past week.
Phones have been hopping at auctioneers who trade in entitlements, with more than one auctioneer describing himself as "tormented" by both buyers and sellers.
Farmers anxious to cash in on any potential gains from a 2012 reference year have been plaguing entitlements traders for any possible insight into the future single payment system. And it appears that some are searching for any loophole to boost their payments in the coming years.
"I had one lady ring me to ask if she sold her high value entitlements today, would she be guaranteed that payment," said Maynooth auctioneer Sean Doyle.
"And in the same breath she wanted to know if she bought low value entitlements, would she be in line for a top-up on the future payments," he added.
"I'd want a direct line into Brussels to answer some of the queries I'm getting."
The auctioneer said demand was strongest for entitlements of €150-300, which were selling for 1.3-1.45 times their value. He said demand for €600+ units had slowed considerably.
Wexford-based trader Jay Brennan said that while the number of transactions had slowed in the past fortnight as farmers watched the CAP negotiations, there had been a notable spike in 'tyre-kicking'.