By FWi staff

HIGH world fishmeal stocks and low demand have caused values to fall sharply this week.

Pure fishmeal in 2t bags dropped £22/t this week to £377, on the back of larger fishing stocks in South America and an expected end to the fishing ban at the end of the month.

Its a case of supply and demand, said Peter List of Dalgety. “Iceland has increased its quota and theres a lot of fishmeal about.”

This was echoed by Ian Pike of the International Fishmeal and Oil Manufacturers Association, who said that the drop had been created by improved stocks in South America.

But Ian Tremain of Mole Valley farmers believes that fishmeal prices have been overpriced for the past couple of years.

Maize gluten has been withdrawn from some price lists this week due to a lack of supply.

Gluten has been very competitively priced recently and therefore demand has been good, said Mr Tremain. “But at the moment, there is a lack of material at a sensible price, and supply is short.”

But the shortage should not last long, with new boats due in March, noted Mr Tremain. “And as these arrive the supplies will filter through,” he said.

Maize gluten has been cheaper than wheat and soya this season, and has been used in many rations as a substitute. “Weve re-done some rations and theyre working very well. Some might find that it works even better.”

With soya bean meal hi-pro at £127/t and Brazilian 48% pellets and meal at £124/t, Mr Tremain said that it looked very attractive. “Values are at 10-year lows,” he said.

“But there has been a slow-down in forward buying as people wait for an outcome from the GM debate.”

Mr List of Dalgety believes that prices will remain stable in the short term but are likely to drop in April on a demand basis.