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3 November 2022: On predicting markets 2

This method I find more accurate than chartism, the age-old art of examining toad entrails! The other pictures I found were rather stomach-churning, so was relieved to find this graphic!

And that a difficult market to predict, as milk powders continue to ignore the wider world of proteins and vegetable oils. Skim milk has posted another significant loss, another 5% down the tubes, and a staggering 15% since the beginning of October, which historically is a meteoric fall. This is usually a feature of a rising market, as middle market traders dribble out a truck or two, and then shove prices up a hundred bucks, but this has desperation written all over it. That's good for farmers looking for less costly milk replacers, but desperate situations can and do turn around swiftly. Milk prices have increased yet again, so our friends the driers are losing both ends, and are unlikely to poke up with that for much longer.

The graph shows that we have been here before, a year ago, but a mirror image to 2021, suggesting we could potentially see prices in the mid €2000s, but I don't think so. Energy costs alone put production costs way above previous perceived lows, and with liquid milk prices nigh on doubling, and veg oils off the scale compared to last year, this private slump in skim milk powder looks dangerous. On the other hand, when Intervention was the market of last resort, the EU contracted hundreds of thousand of tonnes of skim milk, which was bought out by Dutch traders guess when? Yup, April 2020. Arguably, the buildup of stocks by processors and traders alike is akin to the Intervention days, as both camps starved the market in a two year orgy of profiteering, so now there is scant demand to slow the slide.

Sweet whey, on the other hand, is answering fundamental S&D pressures, posting a third week unchanged, with no obvious signs of needing to descend further, especially given the price of the common raw material as skim milk.

The soy complex has had a mixed week; beans up on Bolsonaran protesters blocking the roads into Paranagua, delighting US traders keen to supply China's demand, imports up 12% in September. Meal is even stevens, and oil posted modest gains. Palm oil put on another 200 ringitts during the week, but the Russian return to the Black Sea grain/seed shipping agreement hasn't yet shown in either soya or palm oil.

Currency is a funny old game. The moment the good old boys (and girls) at the BoE mirrored the 0.75% Fed rate hike, the pound fell out of bed, down two odd cents against both dollar and euro.

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

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