Contract feed buyers face price hike

By FWi staff

FARMERS who buy feed on contract could see costs increase by up to 20/t when they come to renew their contracts this year, according to raw materials buyers.

The major straights have risen between 10-20/t over the past 12 months, due to strong world demand, says Ian Tremain of Mole Valley Farmers.

“Added to that is the EU ban on meat and bonemeal in animal feeds and the foot-and-mouth crisis, making availability tight.”

Soya has risen 18/t to 168/t since March 2000, and maize gluten is 30/t dearer. Rapeseed is up 24/t.

“Margins on compounding are constantly being squeezed, and whereas compounders have, in the past, been able to absorb spot price increases for farmers on contract, this is becoming increasingly difficult,” says Tony Bell of BOCM Pauls.

“There is really no option but to put the prices of feed up.”

The biggest rises will be in feed with a high protein content, which could be over 20/t, adds Mr Tremain.

“We would advise those looking to buy feed for the summer and winter to do it now.”

However, Haydn Davies, marketing manager at Lancashire-based Pye Farm Feeds, reckons that a 20/t increase is unlikely, especially given the current foot-and-mouth crisis.

“It is just scare-mongering, and when it comes down to it, few will enforce it.

“Obviously we all need the rise, but it is insensitive and unethical – 8-15 is more realistic,” says Mr Davies.

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