Poor progress with North American corn and soyabean plantings has driven some global feed price rises.
KW Straights trading manager Claire Bradley said reports from the United States Department of Agriculture showed US corn plantings were just 30 per cent complete, compared to a five-year average of 66 per cent, with soyabean plantings at just 9 per cent, the average being 29 per cent.
Ms Bradley said: “Both corn and soyabean prices rose as a result, with Chicago Board of Trade soyabean futures lifting back above US$300/ton.
“The Argentine soyabean harvest has also been slowed by rains but, with 67 per cent of the crop already secured and plenty of time for US plantings to be completed through June, the markets remain broadly confident in global supply being able to meet expected demand.”
But she said soyabean imports into China – the world’s biggest importer of this protein – have dropped significantly as a result of the ongoing African swine fever epidemic.
She added: “This lift in global corn and soyabean prices, along with the recent drop in Sterling’s value, has caused a lift in the price of nearly all UK feeds.”
The price of rapeseed meal continued to be supported by crushers holding existing stocks until the size of the new crop is known, along with a lack of alternative mid-proteins such as Ensus maize distillers’ feed – not ideal for dairy rations with its potential negative impact on butterfats.
For those needing rumen-bypass protein, she suggested heat-treated rapeseed expeller now being produced out of Stratford continued to offer better value than soyabean meal, with summer contracts currently available at £240-250/t.
High protein liquid feeds can suit farms needing rumen degradable protein.
“For energy, soya hulls remain one of the best deals available at the moment, at £120-130/t for delivery to October and just £10/t more for the winter,” Ms Bradley added.
However, the over-riding greater threat to UK prices remained Brexit uncertainty.