By FWi staff

FERTILISER markets are gearing up for a busy fourth quarter with many more farmers expected to take some cover before Christmas.

Growers have only committed to about a third of the expected 2.1m tonne straight nitrogen market so far, says Stuart Beer, Terras fertiliser director.

That is a significantly lower proportion than last season, though the market then was about 300,000t smaller due to the appalling autumn weather which wrecked drilling plans.

UK nitrogen will cost about 116/t delivered onto farm in November, and prices will rise at least in line 2/t a month as announced at the beginning of the season, says Mr Beer.

“At the moment I am prepared to take forward orders at that. But prices could go up even more. It depends what happens in Afghanistan.

“There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment on fertiliser supplies from the region and over energy prices.”

Mr Beer expects UK farmers to double their committed tonnage over the next three months, a stark contrast to the same period last year when very little business was done.

“Farmers have been concentrating on drilling, but that is coming to an end. Cereal prices are better, and money is cheap. There are a lot more plusses about this year.”

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