By FWi staff

STRAIGHTS values have remained stable over the past week, but traders appear divided over how the market will develop now the US harvest is under way.

Soya prices have risen on the back of a shortage of spot material, said David Clark of KW Alternative Feeds.

Soya bean meal hi-pro has risen to £141/t and Brazilian 48% has increased to £133/t.

Mr Clark believes the value will come down between November and April although signs of a price fall in the near future are not there.

Farmers should take cover for September and November but watch the market carefully for December to January, he said. “I think there could be a substantial drop.”

Home-produced rapeseed meal is overpriced at present and farmers are not releasing it from store, said Mr Clark.

Rapeseed meal has risen to £89/t in recent weeks. And although values might ease off Mr Clark does not expect to see a big drop now.

His advice is be prudent and take some cover now. “We have to consider the Millennium. A lot of the plants [crushers] will be closed and there could be an increase in price there.”

But Ian Tremain of Mole Valley Farmers disagreed. He believes rapeseed had been undervalued and has risen on the back of strong demand and expects values to remain static in the near future.

But soya values will come down as the US harvest continues, said Mr Tremain.

The harvest is about 6% through and is expected to be bigger than in 1998. This will add to last years carryover, he said.

Mr Tremains advice for farmers looking to buy soya is “hold your nerve. Keep a close eye on the market, it will come down.”