Commodities Update (4th January)

As I write this (04/01) the pound has risen about three cents against both the dollar and the euro, this is mainly on the back of the interest rate rise from 0.1% to 0.25% in late December, and the lack of further lockdowns here in England.

Finally, we have started to see some easing of fuel prices in the forecourts, but this month has seen oil prices continue to firm, with prices now back around the $80/barrel mark, a price last seen in late November 2021.

Gas prices continued to rise before Christmas, with it peaking at 452p/therm, compared to 52p/therm pre-Christmas 2020, so nearly nine times the cost of last year!  As we head into the new year the price has eased to around 170p/therm but if we saw a cold spell over the next couple of months, I would expect this to rise, and the continuing uncertainty in Ukraine also contributing to its volatility. Future pricing is indicating pricing at approximately 200p/therm until summer/winter 2023, when it eases to 100p/therm, but this is still double where we were last year.

The GDT result in late December saw the first drop in pricing (-1.9%) since early August, but today’s result saw an increase of +0.3%, with an increase in all products offered bar Anhydrous Milk Fat.  The biggest increase was for Cheddar which saw an increase of +4.9%, which like Skimmed Milk Powder is at its highest price for more than five years, with the overall GDT result at its highest since March 2014.

Milk Powder
Milk powder prices remain the same as last month.

Cereal prices have eased slightly since last month, but protein prices have increased, this is on the back of a hot and dry forecast for the next two weeks in South America, so stressing the planted crops.  Short term soya has jumped £50/t to close to £450/t and jumped a similar amount for next winter.  Rape has also jumped £40/t short term and about £20/t for next winter.

CF withdrew prices the first half of December on the back of rising Gas prices, with all other nitrogen, urea or imported AN, suppliers following suit by mid-December.  As of today, I have still not had any updated prices.  With gas prices falling this will hopefully see CF return to the market in the near future, if not will we have another CO2 shortage?

As mentioned last month, CF and other suppliers are only interested in supplying full artics to farm, so it would be worth neighbours considering buying together to get supply?  I already have a list of clients that would be interested in making up a full load with someone in their area if it isn’t too far for them to come and collect their own requirements.

Otherwise, as mentioned last month, for anyone wanting smaller loads we have imported 27N 12SO3, and its associated blends available.

DAP & MOP prices continuing to firm on the back of political movements & tensions.

If you are considering DAP for sowing with your maize this spring then please consider our maize starter fertiliser, MaxiMaize Plus, as this is definitely a more cost-effective option this spring based on current prices.

This is still all compounded by the expected challenging ongoing haulage issues as we head into spring.  Therefore, please consider your fertiliser requirements for this spring ASAP to ensure a timely delivery.

If you’d like to discuss your milk powder, feed & fertiliser requirements, then please call FAR registered Dairy Nutritionist & CowSignals® Master Andrew Jones on 07717 44288 or email