Market Update

Market volatility continues to be an issue across the feed commodity markets. Currency while not as low as it has been is not helping. Winter molasses pricing was done when currency was at approx. £/$1.27 and it is currently just below 1.24. While we can’t predict where currency will go, global molasses prices are unlikely to fall in the short to medium term. Ocean tanker freight which increased significantly following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains firm and as we move through the winter and demand for oil increases this is unlikely to change.

Ongoing high oil prices are also continuing to keep fuel ethanol prices high. This has a direct impact on the in origin value of molasses. On a positive pricing note, urea prices have come back significantly from their peak last winter and we are able to offer full winter contracts on all of our high protein Regulated Release products.

With a background of high prices, we continue to see strong demand for molasses based liquid feeds as customers recognise the unique benefits they offer. With the reduction in milk price farmers are looking to make better use of home grown feeds, especially more effective use of silage.

Winter Feeding Guide

The variability in silages across the country are creating a serious challenge to implementing balanced rations this winter and as such we have seen reduced animal performance and several reports of heating silage. The average silage quality this year has analysed at 0.9% sugar, in comparison to previous years when sugar was around 2-3% this is extremely low and many rations are struggling to reach the ideal sugar level of 6-8% in the diet. By achieving 6-8% sugar in the diet, this can lead to several benefits for both animal performance and health. The source of sugar in a diet is critical as it is important to remember that not all sugars are equal either. Sugars present in animal feeds can be categorised as either 6-Carbon or 5-Carbon sugars. Molasses is a naturally rich source of 6-Carbon sugars such as, glucose and fructose, which are proven to be more highly rumen fermentable, increase microbial activity in the rumen and improve fibre digestion promoting better use of home grown feeds and higher feed efficiency. In comparison to 5-Carbon sugars which do not have these benefits and are typically found feeds that have been fermented such as liquid co-products e.g., pot ale syrup and wheat syrups, silages, and processed feeds.