Ammonium-nitrate fertiliser stored in shed©Tim Scrivener

Hard-pressed livestock producers are ordering only small tonnages of fertiliser, with the pace of business in arable areas little better.

Most arable farms have enough nitrogen to be able to get on with the first dressing, say merchants and other suppliers. With the recent poor weather and the drop in wheat prices over the past few weeks, they expect little more trade until closer to second dressing.

See also: Boom spreaders can boost fertiliser accuracy

Ammonium nitrate prices have eased slightly in many regions in the past three weeks, putting full loads of UK product on to farm in February at £280-285/t and Lithan at £260-270/t on the same basis.

Urea is anywhere from £280-300/t depending on whether sourced from stocks in store or new cargoes.

The slow trade has led fertiliser suppliers to repeat their warning about logistics later in the season. This is being exacerbated, they say, by the cashflow pressure on livestock producers causing them to order hand to mouth quantities, increasing the pressure on transport. 

Fertiliser update February 2015(£/t delivered)*

UK 34.5% N

Granular urea (46% N)

Imported AN (Lithan)

20.10.10 (blend)

£280-285

£280-300

£260-270

£275-285

Potash (MOP)  

Phosphate (DAP)

Phosphate (TSP)

25.5.5 (blend)

£265-278

£385-405

£305-315

 £265-275

*All illustrated prices are based on full loads for cash payment month following.