ANALYSIS - EU feed wheat and corn prices are showing a slight upward trend, although they are still below last year's figures, according to the Agriview EU Market Prices for Representative Products report, writes Chris Harris.
From January to February this year, feed wheat prices rose from €180.26 per tonne to €190.69. However, for the same months last year the prices were €218.38 rising to a peak of €232.06.
Over the last year the prices slid gradually to reach a low of €171.73 in November last year since when they have been on a gradual increase.
Feed corn prices slipped in August last year but have now started to show a small recovery.
In February they stood at €195.53 per tonne, but this is compared to prices in the same month last year of nearly €230.
Flour wheat prices are also down on last year by about €13, standing at €280.13 in February compared to €293.52 in the same month last year.
Feed oat, feed barley and malting barley prices are similar to last year at €188.60, €199.65 and €237.70 respectively.
In the livestock sector, beef prices have been consistently above last year's prices with the January and February prices this year reaching €381.99 and €371.79 per 100kg carcase weight compared to €348.68 and €351 for the same time last year. Dairy cow prices and veal calf prices have also remained consistently higher than last year.
In the dairy sector, intervention quality milk powder prices that reached a peak in January this year at €251.41 per 100kg fell back to €230.42, below the prices for the same month last year when they stood at €243.34.
Similar to the cattle prices, pig prices are up on last year and have remained consistently higher than the previous year's prices over the whole of the last year.
While they slipped slightly in January to €151.41 from €159.34 in December last year, they rose again in February to €157.83 per 100kg. In February last year the prices stood at €144.04.
In the poultry sector, poultry meat prices are coming back toward last year's prices having reached a high of €193.51 per 100kg in August last year.
In January and February they were €184.27 and €185.27compared to €176.44 and €179.33 for the same period a year ago.
Egg prices have soared in the latter half of 2011 and appear to be continuing to rise. Shell egg prices hit €150.72 per 100kg in February having risen from €137.49 in January. The prices in January and February 2011 were €105.93 and €111.37.
The higher prices for the livestock and poultry sector can largely be attributed to high feed prices over the last year although the rapid rise in egg prices could also be the result of the changes to the regulations and the ban on battery cages and the insistence on enriched cages for laying hens, reducing the amount of product on the market. The change in regulations has also been seen by the EU Commission poultry forecasting group as a major reason for rising egg prices.
The EU is also predicting a drop in consumption, which is also likely to have aknock on effect on egg prices. Germany, France and Hungary are predicting an increase this year, but the big egg producers in Spain, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands are forecasting decreases.
With most feed prices now under those of last year, there could be repercussions for the livestock and poultry sectors stabilising prices, but this could take some time to come through.
The full range of changes in market price s can be found at Agriview EU Market Prices.