‘Entitlements trading for 3 times annual value’

The trading of entitlements is in full swing at present and demand is high. Entitlements to the value of €400 or more are being sold for three times annual value in some parts of the country.

Entitlements are now traded on the Department of Agriculture’s new online system. The closing date for transfers is May 15.

Based in Co. Longford, James O’Meara – of O’Meara Auctioneers – is buying, selling and leasing entitlements for customers as far away as Co. Kerry and Co. Donegal.

The Longford man said that farmers are reluctant to sell because of the “clawback” rule.

I’d say the clawback has a big bearing on sales. For every 10 that are sold, customers are only paid for eight.

While sales of entitlements are not proving too popular, prices are high. He added: “We’re getting three times the value of the entitlement for anything over €400. We’re getting nearly three times the value for most entitlements.”

Leasing

Leasing is where most deals are being done. Where entitlements are being leased, customers are paying from 50% to 70% of the value of the entitlement. The values below are approximations.

Who’s leasing entitlements?

James stated that farmers who have dropped rented land, that was too dear, are now leasing entitlements. He added: “There’s a shortage of land at the minute because of the five-year lease.”