Trading of single farm payment entitlements is almost double that of a year ago with prices noticeably higher than in 2009. English flat area or area-only entitlements are changing hands at about £185 a hectare while a full entitlement is worth £225 a hectare. Some purchasers were those who had taken on land without entitlements. Others were speculating on the current subsidy mechanism being rolled on after 2013 or hoping that if the system is dismantled, there could be some form of compensation.
It may seem odd to have a brokered trade in subsidy entitlements, but some economists would argue that it is a second best solution that allows them to be allocated where they are most needed in terms of ability and willingness to pay.