By Roger Chesher

IT seems that last weeks attempt to kick-start the market has had only modest effect.

Variations in price or availability just seem to have no effect at the farm gate and, say some, with slurry tanks full to bursting, there is not much prospect for a buoyant second-cut market either.

Grassland farmers in particular are making do with small loads of nitrogen and using whatever other nutrients are already on-farm.

The farm price of imports has crept down from 120/t to 118/t, with reports in some small local areas of panic de-stocking at prices as low as 110-112/t.

But, with first-quarter net income more than doubling over last year, international chemical giants such as Kemira are in no mood to allow another nosedive in fertiliser prices.

If things dont improve soon, one fears that even further rationalisation will be necessary.

The Kemira Agro Nitrogen unit (KAN), which specialises in the nitrogen fertiliser business, saw its net sales come in 29% below last years first quarter figure.

The difficulties resulting from rainfall and foot-and-mouth impacted KANs markets, and fertiliser delivery volumes were down a good third on last year.

The price level was on average 25-30% higher than in the first quarter of last year.

Profitability was nevertheless burdened by the high price of natural gas, which is used in manufacturing ammonia, says the Kemira Agriculture group.


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
Imported 140+
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=UK78.55p; US$1=UK69.78p on 08 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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