AFTER months of lacking a clear trend, the only direction for feed costs this month is upwards.

Shipments of wheat and other important agricultural commodities, such as maize, from the Black Sea ports have effectively stopped, whether from Ukraine or Russia, and even Romania. 

See also: Free-range egg producers ask retailers for 10p/doz price rise

With prices already at historical highs, the ex-farm spot price for feed wheat in the UK has set a new record, rising £35/tonne since last month, and now stands at £253/t.

Wheat has been the worst affected of all the major international commodities, whether agricultural or industrial, and a continuing upward trend is expected. 

The futures price for feed wheat for the May contract month is up by much more, by £54/t to £285/t.

Soya has also risen sharply. Ukraine is a significant exporter of sunflower oil, and this has had a substantial knock-on effect on rapeseed in particular, with soya following suit. 

Record soya levels

Soyameal has, therefore, also climbed to a new record level, hitting £484/t at the start of March. 

This is up £36/t on February, and with soya prices already sky-high at the start of the year, it means they are up £173/t on the average for the last six months of 2019, before the pandemic started to send the price higher.

With wheat and soya both breaking records, the cost of our Basic Layers’ Ration has soared to £343/t, up £35/t during the month and inevitably another all-time high.


UP WHEAT – Cessation of Russian and Ukrainian shipments form Black Sea

UP SOYA – Unavailability of Ukrainian sunflower crop pushing up oilseeds generally.