Commodities Update (7th March)

Simply where do I begin?  If we thought the last two years had been mad, then where will the next two take us?

As I write this (07/03) the pound has fallen about four cents against the dollar and risen about three cents against the euro.  I don’t think there can be any doubt this is all on the back of the war in Ukraine with money being put into the traditionally safe currency of the dollar, and the euro weakening as it is literally next door to the conflict.

Oil has just gone up, with prices increasing by over $30/barrel in the last month, with today’s price currently $124/barrel.  This is reflected in rising forecourt prices that have seen fuel increase by nearly 15p/l just in the last ten days!  Supplies of product on farm are available but give yourself a good week/ten days before you need the product for timing of the order and no supplier is confirming a price until the day of delivery.

Gas prices have nearly tripled in the last month to just under 600p/therm, with no real future prices available, some indications currently are for a price around 400p/therm for next winter but who knows.

In the last month the GDT results have continue to rise with increases of +4.2% & +5.1%.  With all categories seeing a rise at the last auction, including a big 10.9% for cheddar, and butter reaching a record price, by breaking US $7000/t for the first time.  We are now seeing the highest price of the last ten years at the auctions.  Milk prices are getting closer to 40p/litre as mentioned last month, and further rises are expected as we head into spring.

Milk Powder
Milk powder prices have continued to rise over the last month, as expected with SMP prices, and other raw materials, continuing to rise.

Prices are just changing day to day, and sometimes hour to hour.  I’ve heard of prices rise £25/t in the morning and fall as much by the end of the day.  Prices have risen with a current example being wheat, currently being offered at £275/t.  Prices are available for the short term, but longer term, only protein prices seem to be available currently.

As I speak all fertiliser prices that I am aware of have been withdrawn, on the back of the continuing increase in gas prices.

In the last week we’ve had a couple of offers for fertiliser and they have been gone by the next morning so if we have prices, we can quote you, but they can be withdrawn again at a moment’s notice.

Again as my final word remember that 50% of your grass growth for the year is between now and the end of May.  To ensure you are setting yourself up for the spring and NEXT winter you need to maximise your grass growth now, so if you want to cut back on your fertiliser usage this year do it after 1st cut, not before or you will be chasing your tail all through this growing season and next winter.  Plan to make more of your slurry instead of Aftercut etc.

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