Trade Fears over Price Increases in Raw Materials

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID McCOY

FEARS over the knock-on effects of increases in the raw material prices have been expressed by the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association.

An NIGTA spokesman said that the United States Department of Agriculture report on Friday, June 29, 2001 had highlighted the difficulties faced by US farmers in getting crops planted due to the wet spring.

The acreage actually planted in soyabeans was 75.416 million compared to March planting intention report of 76.657m acres.

"The stocks in the USA at June 1 were reported as 708m bushels, down from 774m bushels a year earlier. Both of these pieces of news were bullish as the market was anticipating both higher stocks and acres planted,'' he said.

"On Friday, June 29, the Chicago Board of Trade closed up 20 cents per bushel on beans ($7.35 per metrric tonne) while meal closed up $7.30-$8.00 per short ton. Even with the recent rise, beans for November are $4.64 per bushel still below the level set by the US Government support programme at $5.26 per bushel. The 30-year low in beans (hit in 1999) was $4.01 per bushel $23 per mt below Fridays close.''

He said that soyabean oil prices were still weak due to the large supply in the world of palm oil. "This situation is unlikely to reverse until early 2002, meanwhile the meal will have to carry more of the crush value due to weak oil.

"We are looking at a risky situation on US soya at the moment. The market has no real weather premium built in. If we use USDA trend yield and the acreage we project a crop of 2,936m bushels (79.90m mt). If we use the lower June stocks and carryover for this season to next plus the expected usage we get a carry out stock in August 2002 of 254m bushels. This is a relatively low figure given the usage and there is no room for a reduction in the crop size due to drought.

"We expect that, in the coming critical weeks, during July and August, there is likely to be a crop scare rally which could bring prices of November beans above $5.00 per bushel. This equates to a further $10-$12 per ton on meal prices. …