Prices for both wheat and soya are still tracking lower as traders remain relaxed about the immediate prospects for global supplies.

UK feed wheat was £11/t down during the past month, and soyameal £14/t down.

See also: Layer chick placings dipped significantly in the New Year

At £168.30/t, feed wheat is now at its lowest, not just for the current marketing year (Jul-Jun), but is back to the level of three-and-a-half years ago, well before the invasion of Ukraine sent world prices rocketing.

Similarly, soya at £414/t has slipped to a 24-month low, again below pre-invasion levels.

All this has naturally brought a significant reduction in our basic layers’ ration, down another £12/t over the past month to £264/t.

Lower prices

As the chart shows, prices are starting to follow a pattern for 2024 below the trends prevailing over the past three years.

Forward sentiment is also bearish on wheat and soya prices for the next few months.

For now, the Black Sea situation is continuing to exert downward pressure on prices.

Keenly priced exports from the region are capping wheat prices globally.

At the same time, any worries about the conflict causing an interruption to supplies appear to have been forgotten for now.

Further into the year, there are signs that the EU’s wheat harvest could be a few percentage points down on last year, or even more if widespread wet conditions hinder the crop.

Countering this is an expectation of ample maize supplies, especially from South America, which could inhibit any tendency for wheat prices to roll forward again.

Soya

In the soya trade, the South American crop is now keeping prices subdued.

Brazil’s harvest is around half-complete and although current forecasts are down on earlier high estimates due to loses from dry conditions, the prospect of a big crop arriving imminently in Argentina is counterbalancing this.

Also, demand from importing countries is proving weaker than normal.