Prices of dried distillers grains have been on a downward trend since mid-July, but improved values relative to corn could inspire livestock producers to begin to increase inclusions rates.
The DTN weekly DDG spot price average fell another $4 per ton in the past week, from $122 per ton last week to $118 per ton this week. This is the tenth consecutive week the average has followed a downward trend, falling $30 per ton during that time, from $148 per ton in mid-July to $118 per ton this week. This is also the lowest point the average has reached since late November 2014.
Of the 36 Midwestern locations DTN collects spot prices from, 26 locations reported their spot prices fell between $5 and $15 per ton in the past week, although were around $5 per ton lower. Prices at nine locations remained unchanged, and only one location had a spot price increase of $5 per ton.
Merchandisers told DTN that lackluster export and domestic demand made the past week slow in sales, with more sellers than buyers in the marketplace. Exports of DDG remained fairly slow and domestic end users still mostly buying hand-to-mouth.
With 10 weeks of decreasing DDG prices, its value relative to corn is finally returning to a level low enough to renew interest in livestock rations. In mid-September, the value of DDG relative to corn finally dropped below 100% for the first time since mid-July.
Values this week have dropped down as low as 85%, drop from 90% last week, creating more incentive for livestock producers to choose DDG and return to using it more in rations.
The value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at about 39%, falling from about 41% last week. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was about $4.72 this week, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.37.
These better values lead some end users to look at buying forward, one merchandiser said.
Cheryl Anderson can be reached at Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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