By Mike Stickland
THE fertiliser market for this season is all but over, and no business is being done for the new season.
The last lots of top-up nitrogen are moving at prices in the £95-£100/ t range for domestic product when full loads are considered – but the full load is very much a rarity. Most part loads carry a substantial delivery premium. Imports are more variable according to stocks.
There is, as usual at this time of year, a substantial tonnage of unpriced fertiliser being moved. Not everyone is convinced that the pricing of this tonnage represents the best deal, but the farmer has the whip hand if he feels that the deal offered is not good enough.
After-cut deliveries taken on trust are now being settled, with prices ranging from £94 to £96/ t.
The trade has not had a happy season, nor have the blenders. Though the main manufacturers have faired better than most this year, all of their profits will have been very badly hit. The main drop in the market seems to have been in imported fertiliser, and there have been some casualties in the ranks of importers.
Demand in the coming season is unlikely to be any better.
Fertiliser prices, May 1998 (£/t) (updated monthly)
Region Domestic AN Imported AN 25-0-16 South East 94-100 83-90 95-97
South West 95-99 84-90 93-97
East Anglia 93-99 82-89 94-97
Midlands 95-100 85-90 94-98
Wales 96-100 86-91 94-98
North East 95-100 82-90 94-97
North West 96-100 86-90 94-99
Scotland 95-100 85-90 94-99