Welcome to the BDC agri blog. Here you will find reports from some of the events we attend, as well as Greg's popular weekly view of the UK milk and whey powders market:


"Many years ago, I got my first job in the dairy industry, as class milk monitor at Tollesbury Primary School.
I thought it was a job for life, but sadly Margaret Thatcher famously ‘snatched’ free school milk,
and the nation’s health has suffered since. Fifty-four years later, I am still musing on the dairy industry,
with an irreverent view of politics and currency ..." G
reg Dunn

The gap between the quoted and physically available prices for skim milk is narrowing, with the Dutch market posting €50 gains, making spot price €1900, opposed to the €2000 it is possible to buy at. Whey has jumped up €30 this week, as expected, but there is more availability. My mid-lockdown theory about cheesemakers mothballing production is totally reversed, as particularly the French are munching their way through enormous quantities of Emmental at home, whilst mozzarella is still at a standstill due to the collapse in pizza demand, so there is plenty of whey about, and that may well cap this rise before we get to Q3. Brands like President (butter and camembert) are experiencing record sales, and are certainly present in the fridge at Dunn Towers, as is newly arrived skim milk powder, the first since lockdown. Whey traders in particular are happy to surf the new wave in skim milk, so it will probably take several weeks for whey to plateau.

Skim milk supply and demand is a puzzle, though, as French dairy producers are still getting high prices at peak production, despite the warnings of doom and gloom further ahead. This must be domestic demand, as compared with countries like the Czech Republic reporting milk prices at nearly half the French levels, the demands of dairy giants like Lactalis and Sodiaal for reduced production and prices will be enforced by imports.

Sterling is a basket case again, more than three cents off recent highs against the euro for no identifiable reason. Perhaps traders' suspect Cummings seems happier to throw the red meat of a no deal Brexit to the redhead press than modify the government’s stance in dealing with the post-Covid bomb site of the economy.

BDC agri is the UK broker for Lacto Production milk and whey powder products.

For further information and prices, contact Greg Dunn on 01206 381521 or g.dunn@blackdiamondcommodities.com

Calcium pidolate was originally developed to treat osteoporosis in humans. The main symptom of osteoporosis is depletion of collagen in bones, making them brittle and prone to fracture.

French company Dietaxion identified calcium pidolate as a treatment for deficiencies in eggshell quality over 20 years ago, and have been successfully selling their brand PIDOLin PCa® worldwide ever since.

Calcium pidolate for poultry – how does it work in rear and late lay?

Problems with poor eggshell quality have traditionally been addressed by adding various calcium sources to the diet, but this does not tackle the root of the problem.

But is in fact the quality of the egg membrane that dictates the integrity of the shell deposited around it.

The principal constituent of the membrane is collagen. When the laying hen grows older, it becomes less efficient at synthesising collagen of the optimal quality. This results in a thinner membrane, less capable of supporting the eggshell. The eggshells of older birds are thus inherently weaker, leading to a significant increase in seconds.

The calcium-binding protein in PIDOLin PCa® facilitates the absorption of calcium sources in the diet into the blood and then into bones. It then mobilises calcium from the medullar bone into eggshell formation.

Feeding PIDOLin PCa® from week 50 (or when seconds start to increase) can reduce seconds by more than 20% and usually increases collectable eggs by 1-2%.

When fed in rear, for the first 28 days of life, better bone development and muscle laydown is observed, with significant improvement in uniformity and reduction in mortality. This early treatment, costing less than 1p/pullet, also reduces problems with eggshell quality in late lay and extends flock life. Returns are usually greater than 2:1 against cost.

For further information, call Greg Dunn on 01206 381521.

Download further information as a pdf.

Suddenly export demand from the Far East is dominating the headlines, presumably because East Asia has emerged from lockdown before Europe, and consumer demand is rising. Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and now the biggie, China, have all weighed in with import orders, mostly SMP, whey powder and whey protein concentrate 35%, and paying what it takes to get tonnage on the books. This has impacted on a market already short of derivatives such as whey permeate and lactose, the prices of which now exceed whey powder, which is an unusual state of affairs.

Despite that, whey has ticked up only a modest €10 this week, but this surely can't be the end of the rise. Whey's price aspirations have been helped by skim milk powder, which has leapt €50 for feed grade and €80 for edible grade in the last week, albeit from physically unobtainable prices €200 below the real market. This has pushed the real world of skim milk to over €2000 this week, and it's still difficult to find physical sellers, so happy are the dryers to ride the wave, and the middle market traders enjoying a get-out-of-jail-free card. And by the feel of it, despite dire liquid milk prices across Europe, the dryers are quite happy for the margin from skim to keep them afloat, and this unwelcome surge isn't over yet.

Sterling has drifted lower against the euro and dollar, sentiment not helped by our hapless chancellor voting against the government and supporting a Tory rebellion that was trying to stop chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef being sneaked into the UK:US trade deal that Cummings is cooking up. Apparently he pressed the wrong button, or that's what he told the whip's office!

BDC agri is the UK broker for Lacto Production milk and whey powder products.

For further information and prices, contact Greg Dunn on 01206 381521 or g.dunn@blackdiamondcommodities.com

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    BDC agri is a trading name of Black Diamond Commodities Ltd, UK Registered Company No 06821585,