SOARING ENERGY prices have galvanised early fertiliser buyers into action much earlier than the conventional start to the new season.

Habitual early buyers have the confidence that whatever the price, a June/July purchase will be considerably cheaper than at the spring usage period.

Quite a few orders are therefore being booked on trust; that is order now and sort out the price later.

But, signs are that they will not have to wait too long to discover the price, as merchants could possibly be briefed before the Cereals Event, rather than at the event itself.

Last year saw an all-time record global price for ammonia at $300/t; today the price is already $30/t (£16/t) higher than at the same time last year.

If gas prices are as high as forward pricing suggests, UK nitrogen manufacturers will need to charge £150/t in the spring.

Fortunately no one currently expects that to happen and pricing will probably be based on a spring cost of £138-£140/t for ammonium nitrate.

Given a discount of £2 a month, perhaps more before Christmas, early buyers are unlikely to find domestic AN much below £120/t on farm for July.

The import situation is quiet, awaiting price developments on the home front.

Industry changes continue as Masstock Dalgety announces its decision to cease trading with Terra in favour of a closer relationship with Kemira GrowHow.

With the supply and demand equation currently so balanced in the UK, it is unlikely that any manufacturer will miss out on business despite altered trading patterns.

Nitrogen (Domestic) N  (SP5) 34.5%

New season N

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

£120

 

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