A STEADY SUPPLY of fertiliser imports, notably “dirty N” (32.5.0), and a continuing slow uptake of domestic product has led to ample availability for the last part of the season.

The unusually quiet market for this period is not just confined to the UK but is spread throughout Europe where prices too are depressed to stimulate whatever market there may be.

But, availability is not so great as to allow bargain pricing to continue once purchases pick up again.

But there is still no great incentive to purchase fertiliser.

Grass especially is growing well in the warm weather and rain discourages the thought of whatever spreading would otherwise take place.

Meanwhile, continued poor profitability has once more taken its toll on the manufacturing sector with the announcement of the planned closure of the Kemira factory in Denmark.

This will cause another loss of 300 jobs to the industry.

This factory imports ammonia but manufactures nitric acid and 650,000t of compound fertiliser which is sold in Denmark and Northern Ireland.

Kemira‘s commitment to the market means that it will supply this tonnage from elsewhere; perhaps the UK or from the plant purchased last year from Northern Ireland, which is now operating in Finland.

The net result however is a further reduced capacity in Western Europe and a pressure that can only serve to elevate prices.

There is a sense that interest in this season is now over for the major players with the focus on forthcoming supply and pricing.

With the Baltic states now in Europe one senses new alliances forming to challenge the now independent fertiliser giant Yara, which is significantly bigger than its nearest rival.

CURRENT PRICES (£/t)

Nitrogen (Domestic) N  (SP5) 34.5%

Aftercut KN

Imported  urea.

Imported AN Lithuanian

Blended
20.10.10 & 29.5.5

Blended
25.5.5

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

£133

£129

 

£140 granular

£120

£130-135

From £125

£128

 

NPK

April

Imported
27.6.6

Imported
32.5.0

Complex 25.5.5

£135

£138

£128

15.15.20

£155

 

20.10.10/ 29.5.5

£139

 

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
£123 £140 £125

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