Ration prices for livestock feed will see cuts of £15 to £20/t applied from 1 May, due to lower grain and protein costs.

The reductions will put general-purpose cattle rations at £260 to £275/t, with beef finisher blends between £270 and £280/t, depending on maize content.

An 18% dairy ration will fall close to £300/t, with higher protein feeds costing around £320/t.

Price cuts may not be confined to May, with some merchants hinting that further reductions will apply in June.


Grain prices have trended downwards during the first quarter of 2024, with imported barley falling from £205 to £177/t by early March.

Soya has fallen from £450/t in early January, to lows of £350/t by late March.

Local feed mills operate by locking into forward contracts at fixed prices for four to six months, so have been unable to benefit from lower grain and protein prices until existing contracts expire at the end of April.


However, there are some concerns over late planting and reduced cropping areas in Europe due to the wet spring, leading to a rally in wheat and barley prices during April.

Imported barley purchased on a forward price contract for delivery in November 2024 has risen by £15/t when compared to quotes in late March, taking the forward price to £190/t.

In the meantime, all indicators point to static prices until late summer, when actual harvest yields will dictate price trends for next autumn.


Drier weather is forecast for the week ahead and merchants expect a surge in fertiliser sales as farmers catch up on fieldwork.

Price quotes for CAN are steady around £305/t with urea, as well as compounds such as 25-5-5, costing £385 to £390/t.

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