The Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) has warned that due to above average rainfall in Ireland coupled with serious drought in the main grain producing states in America, means that feed prices are likely to rise over the coming months based on current trends. IGFA has warned that this has the potential to be devastating for farmers.
Since January 2012, quotations for soybean meal (the main component of imported feed) have risen by approximately 260 per tonne, Dried Distillers Grains (DDGs) by 108 per tonne and wheat by 54 per tonne. These levels are worrying for the intensive farming sector. This along with concerns about the US soybean crop and now confirmed damage on the South American soy bean crop will have a major impact on all livestock farmers.
Deirdre Webb, Director with the IGFA, said: Poor weather patterns in North and South America US, Australia and the EU mean that we are facing into unprecedented volatility and uncertainty in terms of feed prices . We have seen some unsustainable price jumps in 2012 that has already had a huge impact on farmers. In April and May we already experienced a sharp price increase in proteins as the trade absorbed the impact of the drought in South America. The world balance sheet for proteins was adjusted down by 22 million tonnes of supply trade, this equated to 60% of the total EU soymeal imports. The scenario for the protein market is now set and any further weather problems will have serious consequences with increases likely to occur.
Given the poor silage and hay making conditions we have experienced so far this summer, the Irish ruminant sector is now faced with a vastly extended feeding season. This coupled with increased price quotations for all feed materials has the potential to be especially worrying for farmers across the country, Ms. Webb continued.
Feed is still the biggest input for farmers and shocks in feed material supplies and price quotation directly effect on the profitability of livestock farmers . On a positive note the EU and Irish harvest is progressing and while yield might be back over all quality is improving daily. Ms. Webb concluded.