29 December 1995

Rises unrelenting for stock feeds

LIVESTOCK producers can expect little respite from the upward movement of feed costs in the New Year, despite the recent easing of grain prices.

"Throughout Europe, feed manufacturers face spiralling costs which they have no choice but to pass on to their farmer customers," says Jim Reed, director general of trade body, UKASTA. "Livestock producers must, therefore, look to their outlets for higher prices in return."

Recent moves by Brussels to tax cereal exports and allow Third Country imports of sorghum at reduced tariffs has led to some slackening of EU grain markets. But feed grains are still £15 to £20/t up on the same time last year while feed manufacturers are now paying an extra £50/t for soya and rape meal above August cost.

&#8226 Brussels has agreed to release 400,000t of rye and 250,000t of barley from intervention stores to go to Spain, Italy and Greece, to help reduce feed costs. Grain prices are currently 40% above intervention levels in those countries.