By Roger Chesher

THE warm weather has finally kicked off the grassland fertiliser market, and nitrogen sales have improved as well.

While sales are hardly a flood of dam-bursting proportions, they are decidedly brisk and comprise all grass grades, not just after-cut fertiliser.

The result is a bottleneck, long forecasted, with farmers wanting instant delivery and the suppliers unable to comply.

The product is there, but the lorries are too few in number, so you may get your fertiliser in a week or two, but not tomorrow.

Hydro, with outlets at multiple sites, currently seems less stretched than Kemira or Terra.

The price is highly unlikely to change significantly again before the new season, so the moral seems to be, if you need fertiliser before July, order it now.

First-quarter results of the majors show a similar pattern; volume down, revenue per tonne up, gas prices high.

Activity of the parent companies is focused away from Europe as Kemira announces the opening of a new fertiliser plant in China, and Hydro reveals new marketing agreements in Chile.

It seems that submissions have now been made in respect of the OFT inquiry and the industry is awaiting the outcome. A long wait is anticipated.


Nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% Anticipated new-season (July) domestic nitrogen Imported urea (if available) Imported AN Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
May 125 July 110 Granular 144
Prilled 132
118-120 ex-stock 121 118 140
NPK May, pay cash July, imported N
Complex 25.5.5 121 95-100
15.15.20 144
20.10.10/29.5.5 124
17.17.17 149
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
120-121 114-116 135-140 115-118


Forecast spring prices





Complex compounds

Northern Ireland Market over 122 148 No market 148



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* 145-155 185 190 187

*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.

*Prices in the Republic are IR

  • IR1=UK78.31p; US$1=UK69.93p on 17 May


    Note All illustrated prices are based on 20-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

    Source: Bridgewater Partnership

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