SIXTEEN DEATHS reported as a result of the detonation of a spilled load of fertiliser near Bucharest, Romania, highlight the need for continuing vigilance in the manufacture, transportation and storage of ammonium nitrate.

The tragedy happened on Mon, May 24, when bystanders and emergency crews became caught in the explosion as containers reportedly holding ammonium nitrate were being reloaded.

Romania is an applicant country for EU membership and it is not clear to what extent the load would have met the stringent requirements for detonation testing and licensed hauling that applies to both imported and domestic product in the EU.

But as awareness is heightened, UK farmers could well experience a strong application of the existing rules for transportation and storage.

New regulations are being phased in from this month and guidance notes on transport should soon be available from the Health and Safety Executive.

Codes of practice for storage and handling can be found on the fertiliser section of the Agricultural Industries‘ Confederation website, www.agindustries.org.uk.

Meanwhile, little or no change in spot pricing is expected until an early start to the new season, but much activity is underway in preparing the industry for the future.

Kemira Oyj has announced plans to investigate options for listing Kemira GrowHow, the fertiliser division, on the Helsinki stock exchange.

The timing of the listing depends on market developments and could take place in autumn 2004 at the earliest.

It is expected that GrowHow‘s net sales and income will improve on last year.

This move is not unlike the recent floatation of Yara from Hydro and could well present an opportunity for alliances with other producers in the newly enlarged EU.

Nitrogen (Domestic) N  (SP5) 34.5%

Aftercut KN

Imported  urea.

Imported AN Lithan

Blended
20.10.10 & 29.5.5

Blended
25.5.5

Liquid
Nitrogen,
37kilos/100
litres
Or
29.6%N/t

£129

£127

 

No market

£115

£128

From £125

£128

 

NPK

April

Imported
27.6.6

Imported
32.5.0

Complex 25.5.5

£133

£138

£128

15.15.20

£155

 

20.10.10/ 29.5.5

£137

 

17.17.17

£160

 

 

Trace elements 0.24.24 TSP (47%P2O5) Muriate of
Potash (60%K2O)
Copper, zinc, selenium,
cobalt Iodine and sodium Per acre pack £11.10
New season £131 £140 £127

Ireland

Benchmark prices

Northern
Ireland

Urea, existing stocks only

CAN

24.6.12

aftercut

25.5.5

 

Complex compounds
27.6.6.

 

£155-60

£130-34

£160 (anticipated)

£150-52

£160-62

 

Republic of
Ireland*

CAN, large price variations

24.2½.10 blend

Urea
Granular, non EU          

27.  2.5  5

 

 €195 €190-210 (Russian)
€225-240
€200-250
(dependant on source and quality)
€243 (CCF)
€200 import blend

*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides.  Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.
                  
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

       Source: Bridgewater