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Farm inputs at a glance

November 2019
These figures to show key changes in spending on-farm, looking at costs such as feed, fertiliser and fuel. For a visual respresentation, browse the infographics gallery at the bottom of the page.

Key farm inputs explained

Fuel

Crude oil shows a year on year price decrease of over 14%. Although individual incidents can affect prices in the short term, the market will correct itself depending on the balance between supply and demand.

With OPEC production recently increasing, there is likely to be continued downward pressure on prices as long as supply continues to outstrip any increase in demand.

However, the volatility in crude oil does not always materialise into the same changes in diesel prices, due to supply chain costs and tax and duty applied. Diesel prices have moved in the same downwards direction, but the year on year decrease for pump diesel is only 2.3% and for red diesel 4%.

Latest fuel prices

Our fuel price tracker page features monthly price trends red diesel and crude oil.

Visit the Fuel Prices page

Power

Non-domestic energy users have seen a year on year price increase for Quarter 2 of 4.6% for electricity, and 2.8% for gas. As previously reported, this was on the back of electricity year ahead prices and gas season ahead prices hitting a five-year high in September and October 2018.

In the later part of October 2019 season ahead gas and year ahead electricity prices remained stable largely due to the UK gas system changing from undersupply to oversupply due to increases in production flows. Upward temperature predictions for the later part of 2019 is leading to further downward pressure on prices.

Monitor your energy use

Use our handy energy calculator to work out what it costs to run an XkW piece of equipment.

Visit Energy Calculator page

Hay and straw

Given the exceptional weather conditions in 2018, it is unsurprising that the September year on year straw and hay prices have significantly dropped. Big bale hay has dropped by 45.7% and big bale wheat straw by nearly 26%. 

Monthly spot prices hide volatility during the year, and while big bale hay is currently around £51 per tonne, the average for 2019 to date is £89 which is the same as the average for 2018 as a whole. In the case of big bale barley straw currently trading around £46 per tonne, the 2018 average was £83 per tonne and the 2019 year to date averages £60 per tonne.

The reduction in straw prices is good news for pig producers and livestock producers in upland grassland areas that have traditionally relied on obtaining straw from arable farmers at harvest.

Latest hay and straw prices

Find out the latest prices for big bale hay, big square baled barley straw and big square baled wheat straw in England and Wales. 

Visit the hay and straw prices page

UK feed ingredient prices

UK feed ingredient prices for maize gluten, pelleted wheat feed and oilseed meals have fallen considerably over the past 12 months.

Large crops globally of both wheat and maize have resulted in a general decline in the price of both commodities over the past year. This has translated into prices falls of 9.3% and 33.4% for maize gluten and pelleted wheat feed respectively. As we’ve moved through the current season, planting delays for domestic crops has pushed wheat prices higher. The rise in wheat prices could, in turn, inflate the cost of wheat feed.

The continuation of the African swine fever epidemic globally has reduced the demand for soyabeans and soyameal. Furthermore, the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China has increased stocks over the past two years, further pressuring soyabean prices.

The pressure on soyameal has filtered into the rapemeal market, pressuring prices of the feed ingredient, despite the significant rise in rapeseed prices seen over the past 12 months.

Latest UK feed ingredient prices

Check the weekly trends in prices for imported and domestically produced animal feed products.

Visit the hay and straw prices page

Fertiliser

According to the International Fertiliser Association (IFA), the global drop in fertiliser consumption observed in 2017/18 is expected to rebound in 2019/20 assuming a return to average weather conditions. Global supply continues to expand with new production units being constructed and investment in new capacity. This is despite increasing regulatory pressure on production and products.

In the UK, the increase in prices in the latter part of 2018, when imported AN peaked at £274 per tonne and domestic at £293 per tonne, has been followed by a continual price fall for both imported and domestic product during 2019. A year on year comparison between August in each year indicates a 1% increase in imported AN to £248 per tonne and a similar decrease in UK product to £258 per tonne.

Latest fertiliser information

Find out monthly average prices and subscribe to regular updates.

Visit GB fertiliser prices page

Download the poster

You can download the gallery infographics in a handy A4 poster. Click the button below for your Farm Inputs: At A Glance pdf.

Farm Inputs: At A Glance

More on markets and prices

Use this simple reference guide for updates on key market prices. There is also contact information for our market intelligence team.

Key Market Prices and Trends: Nov 2019

Gallery: Farm inputs at a glance

Click on the thumbnail images below to browse the infographics on farm inputs, which look at costs such as fuel, feed and fertiliser.