Farmers had some respite from rising costs last month, according to the latest NFU/Farmers Weekly Inputs Price Monitor results.
The average red diesel price fell 1.3p/litre on the month, to 66.95p/litre in May, while white diesel was down by more than 6p/litre over the same period, to an average of 114.64p/litre.
The fall was largely due to the biggest one-day drop in oil futures at the beginning of May, NFU regulatory affairs adviser Peter Garbutt said. This saw Brent crude oil futures fall from over $120 a barrel to nearer $110.
“They have since recovered slightly, but are still below levels seen in April,” he said. At the time of writing, Brent crude oil futures were trading at around $114 a barrel.
But while red diesel prices fell 2% in May, other fuel commodities saw bigger falls, Mr Garbutt added. Gas oil futures dropped over 7%, contract gas oil prices were down nearly 5% and white diesel fell over 5%. “Red diesel prices were quick to rise on the back of gains in the oil price at the start of the year, but now don’t appear to reflect the recent falls in the market.”
Average fertiliser prices were also slightly lower last month at £327/t for EU/UK ammonium nitrate, £280/t for imported AN and £275/t for granular urea, but this had been countered by the “bullish” global urea market that underpinned June pricing.