Fuel and fertiliser prices remained stubbornly high last month, according to the latest NFU/Farmers Weekly Inputs Price Monitor survey.


July results show farmers paid an average of 66p/litre for red diesel, about 2p/litre more than June and over 15p/litre more than last summer. White diesel and kerosene prices were also up on the month, at 117p/litre and 57p/litre respectively.

Spot Brent crude values remained in the $115-120 a barrel range for much of July, but farmers will be hoping the recent price falls, on the back of renewed economic worries, will result in lower red diesel prices during August. Brent crude was priced at around $105 a barrel as Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (10 August).

The survey also revealed how farmers were being affected by the surge in fertiliser prices experienced at the start of the 2011-12 marketing campaign. Prices for EU/UK ammonium nitrate for June delivery averaged £310/t, but increased for following months. July delivery averaged £313/t, August £316/t and September £342/t.

The NFU‘s Peter Garbutt said this had been underlined by the recent surge in urea prices. “Although there was a brief lull in July, urea has firmed again with Egyptian export values at around $520/t fob, Ukrainian at $485/t and Russian between $475-490/t fob. This will help manufacturers in western Europe justify some of the recent price hikes for ammonium nitrate.

“The direction of travel of urea will determine whether ammonium nitrate price rises will remain on a steep trajectory.”

• Take part in the August survey at www.fwi.co.uk/ipm. It’s quick, easy and anonymous, and the more people take part, the more accurate the results.