Feed prices and markets
Updated 8 November 2019
How much are you spending on feed? Changes in grains, protein and concentrate prices are updated below every month, along with a summary of the markets.
The preliminary harvest figures for wheat and barley were released earlier this month by Defra. The first Defra crop production estimates have barley and wheat at 8.18Mt and 16.28Mt respectively. Opening stocks of wheat were 11.2% higher than last season, added to the bumper harvest, means availability of wheat is much greater this season. A greater supply of cereals on the market will keep domestic grain prices pressured, current grain prices are much lower going into winter than last year.
Throughout October so far, persistent bouts of rainfall have delayed maize and vegetable harvests. As of 22 October, monthly rainfall levels for England were 115% of the long term average for October. As such, the quality of delayed cut maize going into clamps could deteriorate if crop moisture levels were high at harvest.
Earlier this month, GB animal feed production statistics for August were published. Monthly production of feed was down 0.6% year-on-year for poultry to be at 511.4Kt. Ruminant feed production was down 13.4% and 41.4% year-on-year for cattle and sheep respectively, likely due to better pastures and silage stocks reducing manufactured feed demand.
Grain prices have mostly held over the month as the large domestic supply and increased sterling values have weighed on prices. An increasing need to export this season has meant grain prices have had to remain competitive with global markets. The latest corn returns (24 Oct) show UK ex-farm feed wheat (Oct delivery) has fallen £1.90/t since 3 Oct to be at £129.50/t. This decline has slightly filtered through to UK ex-farm feed barley (Oct delivery), which has fallen £0.80/t to £115.60/t over the same period.
July – August import volumes of maize have increased 53% this season to 437.61Kt against the same period last year, according to HMRC. Likewise, in August, whole and flaked maize usage in feed increased 15.3% to 39.9Kt. This is likely booked-in trade from the previous season where a greater volume of maize was imported to meet feed demand. Import levels of maize are unlikely to reach last season’s record levels due to the wider availability of cereal grains this season.
The outlook for domestic proteins continues to be tighter than for grains. Last season, pest damage reduced rapeseed production, both domestically and in the EU. This season, pest issues have again been reported, damaging crops post-emergence.
Despite this, UK rapeseed prices have seen pressure from record imports of Ukrainian rapeseed into the EU and the UK. However this supply is expected to finish pre-January, after which, prices could be supported by the remaining large demand. UK imports of soymeal this season have totalled 577.3Kt so far, according to the EU commission. In the latest animal feed production figures, Soyameal usage was up 6.6% in the season to August, at 186.7Kt.
Soyabean markets still face a large global supply. A lack of resolution in US/China trade talks continues to overhang markets. However, US soyabean prices have been supported by weather led harvest delays in recent weeks.
For new crop prospects, soyabean sowings are behind average in Brazil amid lower than average rainfall levels affecting soil moistures.
Concentrate feed prices
Actual concentrate feed prices are available from Kingshay and Promar, although these are often based on data that is two or three months old.
Our own calculated concentrate feed prices are estimated using a mix of wheat, barley, soyabean meal and rapeseed meal straight prices.