Feedgrain Prices Hold Steady While Protein Costs Rise

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board reports, that while prices for feedgrains have remained stable, the cost of protein supplements continues to rise, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 July 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Sask Pork policy analyst Mark Ferguson says, depending on what happens with the fall crop, it could be a challenging few months for hog producers, particularly with the mediocre hog prices over the past month or two.

Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

It certainly seems that feed grain seeded acreages are up across western Canada and the weather has been co-operating thus far.

Over the past month feed wheat and barley prices have remained relatively constant.

The latest prices for July are indicating wheat is coming in at $142.00 per tonne and barley around $150.00 a tonne so there hasn't been a lot of movement over the past several months in those prices.

What we have been noticing is that the protein prices have been increasing.

For example soybean meal, which is an important ingredient in nursery, grower and some finisher rations, is showing slight increases and is now selling for over $300.00 hundred a tonne which is about $50.00 a tonne higher than one year ago and $15.00 a tonne higher than last month.

Although some of the energy sources, wheat and barley, are staying constant there's other portions of the ration that are increasing.

I think most traders for wheat and barley are in a wait and see mode to figure what this new crop is going to do.

On the soy side I think that, just as the increased acreages for corn in the U.S. have helped put a lid on corn prices for now, that it's also showing that there's going to be less soy available and that's translating into higher soymeal prices because there's going to be a lower volume of product available for meal.

Ferguson predicts a lot of producers will be trying to figure out if there's a lower cost way to put rations together.

He hopes, as feed prices go up and it gets more expensive to finish hogs in the U.S. and Canada, that we'll see a corresponding increase in hog prices.

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