Mild autumn slows NWF feed demand

22nd December 2023 | Animal Feed, Company News, Feed Materials

A first half trading update from the NWF Group reports a fall in feed volumes in the six months to the end of November, largely due to the mild weather in the period.

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The Feeds division, trading as NWF Agriculture and associated brands, saw sales volumes fall behind those of the same period in the prior year. This “reflects a reduction in the overall market with high levels of forage available to farmers following warm and wet weather throughout the summer and autumn,” it notes. “A lower milk price than the prior year and reduced volatility in raw material prices has resulted in the expected normalisation of margins following the significant outperformance in the prior year.”

The Group’s Fuels division also saw a lower demand for heating oil in line with the mild autumn, and margins falling from last year’s exceptional levels as energy prices soared. The Food distribution division traded strongly, exceeding available storage capacity, with an additional warehouse planned.

“It has been a more challenging first half than in recent years, as market pricing normalised following a lengthy period of beneficial volatile conditions for Fuels and Feeds,” notes Group chief executive designate Chris Belsham. “In contrast, the strong performance of Food is encouraging us to advance our plans for a third warehouse to meet the growing customer demand for our first class services and drive further growth in the division.

“With the winter months to come, which are more material to the Group’s performance, our expectations for the full year are unchanged.”