Sharp falls in the price of both wheat and soya have brought a dramatic fall in spot rations costs.
However, the unpredictability of the situation for Black Sea supplies, further compounded by the flooding of Ukrainian farmland after the damage to the Kherson dam, means that future price trends remain uncertain.
For now, the final month of the cereals marketing year has brought with it the lowest UK feed wheat price for nearly three years, down to an average of £172/ tonne at the start of June.
Along with this has come the lowest soya price for 18 months, at £432/t.
The two trends combined have brought our basic layers spot ration down to its lowest level for two years (£271/t).
Technically, the global wheat market is felt to be more than well covered for the coming months, and confidence has been bolstered by the renewal of the Black Sea grain corridor agreement, which has pressured prices downwards.
“The question with wheat now appears to be, how much lower could it go?” said Humphrey Feeds recently.
Since then, the Ukrainians have complained that Russia has severely restricted its shipments from the Black Sea and blocked one key port, Pivdennyi, entirely.
Looking further ahead, the Ukrainians say that the loss of irrigation systems around the Dnipro dam area could threaten crops on nearly 600,000 hectares of farmland.
Meanwhile, soya prices have continued to weaken in the wake of a massive Brazilian crop and amid reports of the US plantings being well ahead of usual.
This leads traders to factor in weaker soya prices for the foreseeable future.
However, the downward price trend is starting to hesitate due to emerging concerns that hoped-for rainfall in the US might not arrive soon enough and the possible impact of an El Nino on crops in the Far East.
SOYA – Lack of rain in the US, and EL Nino in the Pacific, could curtail the fall in prices.
WHEAT – New crop supplies are generally thought to be plentiful globally.
WHEAT –China is said to have stocks excess to requirements.
SOYA – Current stocks are plentiful
SOYA – US crop ahead of schedule.