Ration costs have levelled off in the past few months as the cereals marketing year draws to an end on a quieter note.
The UK average ex-farm feed wheat price, having started to climb from £150/t a year ago, has now settled at around £200/t since the start of the year.
For soyameal, the past 12 months have been more of a rollercoaster.
UK average prices for Hi-Pro climbed in the second half of last year to a peak in January, then fell back again this year.
Since April, they have shown no clear direction, but the key factor for the poultry sector is that soya is still some £60/t up on a year ago.
Inevitably this leaves the egg and poultry industries struggling with feed costs that are about £40-50/t higher than this time last year.
Our Basic Layers’ Ration currently stands at £270/t, down from a peak of £302/t in January but still £46/t up on June 2020.
Correspondingly, indicators for the leading raw materials at present seem set to neutral, with no prevailing bullish or bearish sentiment.
The exception continues to be maize, where a slightly bullish trend remains on prices due to the low world stocks outlook.
The prospect of good wheat harvests in the major producing/exporting countries, including the UK and Europe, is the principal factor restraining further price rises, with existing prices being supported by the maize market and some worries about the dry conditions for US spring wheat.
Meanwhile, a continuing tight outlook for global soya supplies is balanced by favourable progress with the US soya crop.
GRAIN MARKET DRIVERS