SOME of the pressure on egg and poultry producers has eased over recent months after feed costs returned to levels prevailing before the Ukraine conflict.
It means that the poultry sector has at least escaped the recent rises in its most significant input cost but still has to contend with the ongoing inflation in all other areas.
Further falls in the cost of both feed wheat and soyameal have allowed ration prices to continue their downward slide during the past month.
Our Basic Layers Ration has now edged below £300/tonne for the first time since December 2021.
UK feed wheat was down to £190/t at the start of this month.
This amounts to an overall fall of £86/t during the past seven months.
It is mainly soya preventing feed costs from falling any further, although it is at least heading in a more favourable direction.
UK HiPro meal was down another £26/t in the last month, to £491/t.
This is the first time below £500/t for ten months, a similar price to May 2022, but still £100/t above the level of two years ago.
Forward indicators for feed ingredient prices are now shifting more strongly negative.
The outflow of grain from the Black Sea is still driving down prices in the wheat trade.
However, the issue of the renewal of the war corridor is becoming imminent, and the Russian contingent is still expressing reservations about the existing deal.
There seems to be an assumption that it will be resolved one way or another, but any failure will change the landscape dramatically.
That aside, and in the longer term, better conditions for the US wheat crop, with more rain falling, are reassuring the trade.
There is also a knock-on effect from slower US maze exports.
In the case of soya, the large Brazilian crop is now making its presence felt on the global market, and sales to China have been lower than forecast.
Meanwhile, the next crop in the cycle, from the US, is benefitting from good planting conditions.
WHEAT – If the Black Sea deal is not renewed, price moves are likely to switch direction.
WHEAT – Black Sea exports are suppressing prices internationally.
WHEAT – Crop conditions improving for US wheat.
WHEAT – Impact of expected 25% fall in US maize exports this season.
SOYA – The Brazilian crop has dampened the market.
SOYA – Improved planting weather for the next US crop.