FARMERS could save money by buying their fencing early, according to Betafence of Sheffield – which claims to be the only major maker still using British steel.
The company has re-organised its production schedule so it has plenty of stock for sale at winter prices and wants customers to be aware they will almost certainly have to pay more if they wait until spring.
General manager Kevin Steers says an annual bounce in steel prices has been a problem for some years now – since demand from China and India started to stretch manufacturing capacity to its limit.
He explained: "People like us run down stocks at the end of the year and then start ordering again in January for the peak sales time in the northern hemisphere, between March and June. The prices go up with demand and steel is half the cost of a fencing roll. So suddenly we are looking at 10 extra on a 40 roll."
This year, Betafence, which makes stock fencing under the Rylock brand name, has gambled on making sales in January and February, while prices are still low.
Barry Connor, who runs farm supplier Calvag from Mytholmroyd, said he had noticed the price rises Mr Steers was talking about. But a customer said: "Farmers do tend to leave jobs until they have to be done."