SOYA PRICES rose by £4/t in the week to May 5 as world supplies tightened, pushing up input costs for some livestock farmers.

Chicago futures prices hit $382/t (£213/t) compared with $229/t (£143/t) on May 5 last year.

Josh Dadd, of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority, said soya prices had been extremely volatile.

He said some fluctuation had been caused by investment fund managers moving in and out of the market but the outlook depended on US soya bean plantings.

“The market will be very sensitive and needs a record crop to recover. Prices will be affected by how much is grown and the weather over the growing season,” said Mr Dadd.

On Tuesday, May 4, straights traders were quoting £226/t for hi-pro soya bean meal.

Tony Longdon, senior straights trader at BOCM Pauls, said price rises had been partly driven by low yields in Brazil, where the harvest fell 6m tonnes short of a predicted 57m tonnes.

Mr Longdon said market direction would depend on US supply and world demand, particularly from China.