Fertiliser spreading© Tim Scrivener

Most fertiliser prices have weakened as the end of the buying season approaches and availability is good.

Cashflow issues have meant slow farmer ordering, keeping the pressure on in a market for reduced volume.

However as the time window for application reduces, the need for quick delivery is keeping prices steady in some areas.

The biggest price falls have come in imported ammonium nitrate (AN), widening the gap between the spot price for full loads of UK manufactured AN and imported product.

The price gap has doubled in the past few weeks, to more than £40/t in some areas.

See also: Boost to biofertiliser market could aid farmers

Most arable farm requirements are now covered and in the livestock market traders say many producers are using straight nitrogen this season, reducing or avoiding P and K use altogether.

Speculation is turning to new season pricing which is expected around the end of May.

There have been some very competitive offers which put Lithan down as low as £215/t for June delivery on normal payment terms.

On the urea front the trade is waiting to discover the outcome of a tender by India for up to 1.5m tonnes of urea.

This should set the tone for the European market’s new season which is expected to offer granular material at lower than current prices for June and some very keen offers for autumn delivery, when availability is expected to be high.

With farm stores still holding high volumes of grain and the cashflow challenge intensifying, traders are not expecting a rush of business when new season prices are released.

It is also expected that there will be new finance terms to encourage farmers to commit to tonnage.

Fertiliser update – May 2015 (£/t delivered)*

UK 34.5%N

Granular urea (46%)

Imported AN (Lithan)

 

£280-285

£265-270

£235-245

 

Potash (MOP)

Phosphate (DAP)

Phosphate (TSP)

 

£253-265

£380-388

£290-298

 

*All illustrated prices are based on full loads for cash payment month following. Prices for smaller loads will vary considerably.