SPOT RATION prices have fallen for the second month running as the price of wheat stabilises, and the cost of soyameal comes off the boil.
Our estimate of a basic layers’ ration dropped another £3 a tonne in February to £288/t.
It has now slipped by a total of £14/t since the extreme high it reached at the start of year but is still £5/t up on the more ‘rational’ high reached in December.
The trading panic surrounding soya, which drove soyameal costs up by £60/t in one month, has now dissipated, but the raw material is still at six-year highs.
Feed wheat, meanwhile, continues to probe higher month-on-month but lately at a marginal rate of increase.
UK average feed wheat is up £7/t since December, with prices at an eight-year high.
Despite these prevailing high feed costs, current trends on wheat and soya prices are still considered to be on the bullish side, although on different time scales (see drivers below).
A tight UK wheat balance is expected for this season, according to the latest estimates from AHDB.
In South America, prospects are rising of a significant loss of soya yield in Argentina if dry weather persists. At the same time, wet weather in Brazil is still holding up the soya harvest there.
“The (soya) market feels like it is stuck without any clear idea which way to move because there are still so many unknowns until we get the South American crop harvested,” said Humphrey feeds.
GRAIN MARKET DRIVERS
↑ WHEAT – Plans to restart bioethanol production in Hull.
↑ WHEAT – Tight conditions expected on UK market for coming season
↑SOYA – Concern growing about yield loss in the Argentinian crop (long-term).
↑ SOYA – Brazilian crop still delayed by rain (short term)
↓ SOYA – Potential remains for a record crop in Brazil (long term).
↓ SOYA – Swine flu in China has led to cancelled import shipments (short term)