By FWi staff

THE demand for ruminant straights – which reached record levels at the start of March surprised many suppliers – has created a shortage throughout the UK.

Values for imported maize gluten rose £4 this week to £105/t on the back of tight supplies. “You cant buy maize gluten anywhere,” said David Clark of KW Alternative Feeds.

A boat is due in tomorrow (Thursday), but this will only cover orders that are already existing, he said.

More is due in later this month, but prices are likely to remain very expensive until April, noted Mr Clark.

Rapeseed meal was the biggest climber of the week, with home-produced rapeseed rising £7 to £99/t. “Theres no rape to be had in the UK at all,” said one trader.

There is only one rapeseed seller, and his stocks are imported, said Mr Clark.

“The main crusher cant crush fast enough and prices are likely to stay at this level for the rest of the month.”

Soya-bean meal hi-pro climbed £3 to £130/t this week, while Brazilian 48% pellets rose £2 to £126/t. These price increases are due a current shortage from Brazil.

There are five to six commodities that have run out at present, noted Mr Clark. “The cold weather really surprised people. In previous years demand has fallen away at the start of March.”

But this year, if farmers want it, theyll have to pay for it, he said.