Prilled urea is currently available to blenders at competitive prices, giving them some assurance that they will be able to compete comfortably with the domestic compound market.

For top dressing, granular urea is by far the preferred option, and the usual differentiation of £10/t or more is back in place.

Farmers are relieved at the market value of wheat, so there is every indication that a reasonable spring fertiliser market will develop.

The volume of autumn plantings also heartens merchants and manufacturers, who met this week at their annual Jamboree, the AIC Fertiliser Sector dinner.

Prices continue to be firm, but inevitably the massive impact of energy costs was uppermost in many minds at the meeting.

As Stuart Beer, chairman of the Sector, reported in his address, this has the effect of pushing prices to a record high.

But, he says, manufacturers are unable to recover the phenomenal cost increase from a customer base under enormous economic pressure.

With margins under pressure and the need to survive and invest, the industry has again issued a call for Government to ensure the UK is competing on a level playing field in Europe.

The anti-dumping instrument raises considerable questions for the future.

Russia, for example, sells gas to the export market at market price but sells it internally below cost, despite applying for accession to the WTO and being granted market economy status.

This allows inefficient manufacturers to export fertilisers at way below market economy prices, says Mr. Beer.

CURRENT PRICES (£/t)

Great Britain

Straight

Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5

Dec £160-165

Imported AN (Russian, Lithuanian)

£150

Imported urea

£185 granular
£175 prills

Liquid UAN
37kg/100litres (29.6%N/t)

No market

TSP (47%P2O5)

£150+

Muriate of Potash(60%K2O)

£145

Compound

 

Complex

Blended

25.5.5

£155

From £147

15.15.20

£168

 

20.10.10 / 27.5.5

£158

From £151

17.17.17

£173

 

Aftercuts NK

 

No market

27.6.6 (imported)

 

 

32.5.0 (imported)

No market

Autumn grades (PK)

 

£133-135

Trace elements

Copper, zinc, selenium,
cobalt Iodine and sodium

£11.10/acre pack


Ireland

Straight and compound

 

Northern Ireland

Republic of Ireland†

Urea

No market No market
CAN £132 €162+

24.6.12 aftercut*

No market

No market

25.5.5

£152

 

27.6.6 complex**

£162

€230-245+ (CCF)
€230-235 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.
*Known as 24.2½.10 blend in the Republic of Ireland
**Known as 27.2½.5 in ROI

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