Importers make hay as straw supplies down
Straw prices have rocketed and stocks are being imported from Britain this week as Irish traders struggle to keep up with demand from livestock farmers.
A surge in orders from the drystock and dairy sectors over the last month has seen stocks of straw completely cleaned out in some parts of the country.
Traders are now looking to import supplies from Britain, with one operator in south Kildare souring 8x4x3 bales in Cambridgeshire in England's southeast.
A sharp lift in prices over the last three weeks and tighter local supplies have made straw imports an option. The cost of 8x4x3 bales of barley and wheaten straw has reached €45/bale delivered into the west. This is up from €40/bale earlier in the year.
However, as stocks continue to tighten, some suppliers predicted that straw costs will increase to €46-48/bale.
Farmers and traders maintained that stocks of barley straw have been totally cleaned out in the east and southeast, with particularly strong demand for scarce supplies of round bales (4x4).
From €15/bale to €17/bale is being paid for good quality round bales in the east, with the delivered price in the west and south at €25-27/bale. However, bedding quality straw is still available for €21-23/bale.