Feed markets were being impacted by Argentinean weather woes and uncertain UK supply.
Farmers were urged to plan ahead to make sure their protein feed needs were met, with Argentinean weather affecting global markets and supply uncertainty in the UK.
Hot, dry weather in Argentina has driven UK prices for summer soybean meal, which have risen more than £40 per tonne since mid-February, with the potential for further increases after downgrades in the Argentinean crop estimates.
KW Alternative Feeds trading manager Claire Bradley said the tight balance between supply and demand would always result in a strong market reaction if harvest volumes fell in any main soya bean growing region.
“Chinese soya bean demand continues to increase year-on-year, as it has done for more than a decade, and there has been a growing reliance on record or near-record soya bean crops in recent years to meet the overall rise in global demand,” she said.
And if hot weather in Argentina continued, prices could push even higher, with the other protein markets following.
“Argentinean truck drivers have also been threatening to strike, while the potential for further devaluation of the Peso is making farmers reluctant to sell, both factors which can further reduce soya bean meal availability.”
Ms Bradley advised people to look at forward cover for the summer and ‘even next winter’.
She warned farmers to remember it was still uncertain when British wheat distillers’ feed would be available again, and rapemeal supply in the UK typically tightens around this time of year.
Concerns surrounding early summer shipments of maize gluten were also keeping prices high.
“Other protein feeds worth considering are the distillery syrups and high-urea cane molasses liquids, the prices of which are often more closely related to molasses prices, which have fallen in the last six months, than the price of traditional protein meals.
“For rumen-bypass protein, heat-treated rapemeal and rumen-protected soyabean meal continue to offer savings equivalent to at least £50/t over soyabean meal and are definitely worth a look.”