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Weekly Overview: Focus on Feed and Future Price Trends

15 August 2013

ANALYSIS - In the US, maize, soya and wheat prices rose this week following the publication of the latest crop estimates from the USDA. UK poultry feed prices were 16 per cent higher in the second quarter of this year than in the same period of 2012, and there are warnings of further feed price rises in India. Peas and a novel soybean type show potential as poultry feed ingredients in new research. Finally, two industry organisations set the record straight over antibiotic use in UK poultry.

Grain futures markets rallied this week following the publication of the USDA's August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report. The government data showed a lower-than-expected US corn crop forecast, according to Jim Wyckoff for ThePoultrySite.

Corn (maize) futures had a low start to the trading day but popped to the daily high on the USDA data and later fell back slightly. Soybean futures prices showed good early gains and saw those price gains extended in the wake of a mildly bullish USDA monthly crop report. Wheat continues to be a follower of corn and soybeans and futures prices are slightly higher.

The average price for poultry feed in the UK for the last quarter (April to June 2013) is 16 per cent above the level of the previous year, according to latest statistics from the department of agriculture.

Total UK poultry feed output was 5.653 million tonnes for the 12 months to the end of June, 2.8 per cent more than the previous year, with all poultry sectors registering increases.

Trade experts are warning of a further increase in feed prices in India if soybean meal moves up from the current levels. Soya prices have increased by Rs2,500 a tonne over the last week.

Turning to feed company news, Cargill has completed the sale of its feed manufacturing facility in Hanford, California, to Pitman Family Farms, a family-owned poultry farmer.

New research has shown that heat-treated peas have potential as a useful alternative protein source for poultry.

A novel type of soybean meal with a lower anti-nutritive content had a higher energy value than the conventional product and similar amino acid digestibility, according to recent study.

Chinese researchers have found that although there were some changes in egg quality, no benefits in terms of egg production of long-term supplementation of a maize-soybean meal layer diet with the vitamin, choline.

And finally, following up on last week's story about the estimated cost to human medicine of antibiotic resistance in E. coli derived from poultry, two industry organisations have assured consumers that British chickens are reared according to the strict production standards of the Red Tractor assurance scheme, and that these standards include rigorous control of the use of medicines under veterinary supervision.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) and the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance add that the British poultry meat industry has voluntarily stopped the use of certain categories of antibiotics in the breeding pyramid that are considered to be critically important to human medicine, such as cephalosporins. They add that cephalosporins are not and have never been used in flocks used for chicken meat production in the UK.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock

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