While cereal prices have eased slightly, protein prices have risen, mainly due to the increase in soya but also due to limited short-term availability of mid-protein feeds, such as distillers grains. There has been little rainfall in Argentina, which has resulted in farmers expecting a 45-50% yield loss in their soyabean crop. In addition, at least 0.5M hectares won’t be planted, this has partly been compensated by the large production in Brazil, where soya is currently being harvested. However, there is potential China could push the protein market higher, this will depend on what happens in terms of covid, and their consumption after the Chinese New Year celebrations which have just passed on the 22nd January.
Please note all prices quoted are delivered costs based on full 27-tonne loads, therefore load size and location will alter prices. At the time of writing (end of January 2023) wheat and maize distillers dark grains have limited availability, and prices are sitting around £393/t and £378/t respectively. Soya is being quoted at around £568/t which will have a knock-on effect on the price of high protein concentrates. This could particularly impact on those yet to buy their ewe rolls in the run up to lambing.
There is currently a £50 difference between April and May soya, therefore shippers could go very tight in April, coupled with the news in Argentina this could be a perfect storm. Rapeseed meal looks reasonable in comparison at around £393/t, although worth bearing in mind if using in a home blend there can be issues with palatability and the inclusion rate compared to soya will need to be slightly higher to achieve the same level of protein. In summary, forward plan your feed budget, contact your suppliers and sit down with your feed adviser sooner rather than later.
SAC Consulting, Ruminant Nutritionist. firstname.lastname@example.org
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