Ration costs have fallen to their lowest point for 12 months, relieving some of the pressure on producers.

Soyameal has fallen progressively during the first quarter of the year, while feed wheat dropped back suddenly in March after initially climbing in the post-Christmas period.

A simple ration based on a wheat/soya mix will now be costing around £13 a tonne less at spot prices than at the start of the year, and is back to around the same level as March last year.

Both wheat and soya have been hitting short-term lows in recent weeks. Soyabean HiPro meal at £300/ t has dropped to its lowest level since December 2017, and is £93 below its peak last May.

The easing of the feed wheat price has been less spectacular, but is now at its lowest level since harvest.

Currently, trends are bearish for both wheat and soya. Globally, the wheat market is weighed down by stocks of maize and barley, comments Humphrey Feeds, while at home the trade has been focused on the Brexit date rather than traditional market drivers.

For soya, it suggests a small decrease in US plantings, of around a million acres, is likely to be offset by increased production in South America to meet increased demand for Chinese imports.

Feed market movements

↓WHEAT – World prices are being suppressed by competition for export markets between the, US, EU and Black Sea sources. With only four months left before the northern hemisphere harvest, competition for remaining market opportunities is expected to continue.

↓WHEAT – Prospects of a larger world wheat harvest have been lowering new-crop futures.

↓SOYA – US stocks were higher than expected in the latest USDA report. World soyabean ending stocks are put at 107 mt, 8.6 mt higher than in 2017/18.

↓SOYA – Lack of any agreement between the US and China over trade continues to press on the market.