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Soybeans ex-Gulf, however, at $659 were at a slight discount to their August values although Brazilian soybeans, at $721 FOB Paranagua, traded at a slight premium to their August value. Where futures were concerned, it seems clear that the

markets expect maize to drop minimally by the end of the year; prices for the December 2012 contract eased from $8.0858 in August to $7.7277 in the first three weeks of September. No real easing of prices is expected until the 2013 crop comes off the combine. The November 2012 soybean contract, on the other hand, increased from an average of $16.65 dollars a bushel in August to $17.05 in the first three weeks of September with, again, no real relief expected until the 2013 crop. Compare these values with the November 2012 soybean contract during the first half of 2010 - $9.54 dollars a bushel. Another aspect that will need to be borne in mind are South American prospects; at the time of the previous issue of Feed Compounder there were dark mutterings about a possible El Niño and, given the current soybean supply and demand balance, the slightest hint of bad news could throw the market into a renewed burst of over-exuberance. Closer to home and according to the Corn Returns, feed

wheat for current delivery in Great Britain continued to come off its July high of almost £203, declining to £197 in August and to £192 in the first three weeks of September. There was a sharp rise in the three month delivery price in August, up from £178.75 in July to £191; no one appeared ready to take a punt in September on December delivery. As far as the LIFFE market was concerned,

the November 2012 contract averaged £205 in September while the July 2013 contract, which had broken into £200 territory in August, reached £210 in September. On the protein front, there were signs that ex-store and

ex-mill prices might just have peaked or, alternatively, run into serious price resistance. Hipro both on the East Coast and ex-mill Liverpool averaged lower in the first three weeks of September than for August and imported Brazilian 48 per cent was also easier. In contrast, rapemeal ex-mill edged higher suggesting that on current mixes, soybean meals were starting to price themselves out of formulations. Perhaps significantly, the ex-store cost of Argentine 32 – 33 per cent sunflower also edged up in September although not by as much as rapemeal. This situation will bear watching over the next few weeks. No one suggests that feed manufacturers will be buying at

prices available in, as it were, the public domain but the foregoing does illustrate the pressures under which feed manufacturers and their customers are working at the present time. And even those feed material buyers who have successfully negotiated the twists and turns of the raw material markets in recent months will be entitled to snort, albeit with rueful admiration at the chutzpah displayed by the world’s largest commodities trading company, Glencore in describing the global food crisis and soaring world prices as a ‘good’ business opportunity. Glencore’s Director of Agriculture Trading, Chris Mahoney, noted that ‘The environment is a good one. High prices, lots of volatility, a lot of dislocation,

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