April Energy & Fibre Market

There has been much downward pressure within the feed market which applies to proteins along with fibre and energy.  Fibre prices have fallen as much as 40% since the winter partly due to the early turnout.

Starches including feed wheat and barley have also weakened due to the uncertainty in the UK, with Tariff concern the main driver.  Wheat had been trading as high as £185/t but is now back to £175/t delivered on farm.  Maize delivered on farm looks more attractive at £177/t and Barley at £145/t.
Field beans are in short supply and are therefore priced at £257/t if you can get them.  Compounders are using them sparingly in diets, but they are a useful slow starch source.

As discussed, fibres have fallen from their dizzy heights to more acceptable £136/t for Soya hulls and £124/t Palm Kernel delivered on farm.  Both will be particularly useful given the early turnout and the common Butterfat issue seen between April and May when grass is its least fibrous.  Sugar Beet Pulp £200/t (£184/t imported) remains very high compared to other fibres, some compounders have bought well and so can feature well in some dairy cakes, but other sources of fibre look better alternatives on spot/forward buying.  Wheatfeed £142/t delivered and has been much slower to fall, although it does provide a very useful slow starch source.  Nutritionally Improved Straw closely tracks Soya hulls but has a lower energy value although it does work well with grazed grass.

Of the key starches (barley, wheat, confectionary and maize) barley is the best priced (14.5p/MJ kg) in energy terms followed by Maize (17.3p/MJ kg).

Of the key fibres (palm kernel, soya hulls, sugar beet pulp, nutritionally improved straw), palm kernel is the best priced (12.4p/MJ kg) fibre followed by soya hulls (13.3p/MJ kg).

Please contact Wesley at wesleyhabershon@fcgagric.com , or your local FCG Office for further advice.

Posted in Arable & Crops, Chippenham, Dairy & Forage.