Soyameal HiPro has tumbled over the past month to its lowest January price for four years.

Spot prices hit £428/t in the weeks after Christmas, down £64/t on December’s price and £128/t down on a year ago.

See also: Egg production hit nine-year low in 2023

This is also well down on typical prices over the last two years.

Global soya prices have been undermined by a mix of factors, including the arrival of the Brazilian harvest, weaker US exports and reduced demand from China.

At the same time, feed wheat has shown little direction over the past six months and, similarly, stands at its lowest January price since 2020.

Spot ration costs

The result is that spot ration costs are down again this month and are back to the levels of last summer after climbing during the autumn.

Our Basic Layers’ Ration has fallen £21/t since November, to £276/t.

Looking forward, the sentiment for soya expects a continued bearish tone to prices.

Brazilian harvest

The predominant factor in the market continues to be the long-anticipated, bumper Brazilian harvest, which is now entering the trade.

Recent rainfall, and the expectation of more to come, has dispelled lingering worries about dry conditions.

The improved weather has also raised forecasts for the Argentinian soya harvest, which were raised by a percentage point towards the end of January.

Meanwhile, US soya exports during January have been falling short of the trade’s predictions by 15-50% in the face of subdued global trade, especially from China, where pig numbers are down.

Wheat

In the wheat market, the picture has changed little in recent months, with competitive Black Sea supplies still holding the market in check.

This has enabled prices to resist concerns about the impact of dry weather on the maize crop in Brazil.

Some Black Sea exports have also been hindered by attacks on Red Sea shipping and diverted to Europe, putting more pressure on European markets and exports, and hence prices.