By Roger Chesher

AS agricultural merchants publish their own fertiliser terms it is evident that the structure initiated by the majors is holding.

Some merchants are complaining at what they perceive to be an attack on their ability to make a margin.

The manufacturers argue that having made multi-million pound losses they must take control of their own business.

Nitrogen remains at 111/t and is set to rise by 2/t next month, but it is too early to see how much business is being done. In these circumstances there is usually a rush at the month end.

The next big question is: What will happen to the price of imported nitrogen?

The UK needs to import 2.5 million tonnes of finished nitrogen products to meet demand, and recently the imported price has been significantly below the domestic.

There are signs that the import price is returning to its usual level of approximately 10 below the majors, i.e 101/t on farm.

While some new imports have been booked, ammonium nitrate is by no means easy to source, at least at the prices the UK market wants to pay.

With urea prices high, South America has turned to ammonium nitrate and, with the absence of specific duties, exporters find the market more attractive.

Anti-dumping duties on Polish, Lithuanian and Ukraine nitrogen will hike their prices by an estimated Euro20/t at the month-end, and already Russian exporters are exploiting the situation by demanding an extra US$12/t for their material.

The autumn fertiliser market is under way, with 0.24.24 selling for 109-113/t.

Kemira, as the one remaining UK manufacturer of complex granular NPK, prefers to concentrate on spring-applied NPK for the winter cereal market.

Its distributors have “competitive” prices for this range to tempt customers away from autumn PK.

The grassland market is very depressed at present.

CURRENT MARKETS (prices in )

New-season (July) nitrogen (SP5) Anticipated spring price nitrogen Imported urea (if available) Imported AN (new season) Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
111 (110-113) 130 Granular unavailable; prilled 105 101 109 101-103 No market

NPK June, pay cash
Complex 25.5.5 112
20.10.10/29.5.5 119
17.17.17 138

After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)
118 109-113 120 120



  Imported urea




Complex compounds

Northern Ireland Not available 85-90 115-120 No market 115-120



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* 114-116 160 Not available 157

*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=UK0.796 on 12 July


    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