By Roger Chesher

THE European Dairy Event on Wednesday (19 September) provided a much-needed opportunity for fertiliser traders and farmers to meet on common ground.

The messages were mainly technical: Terra emphasised the need to match particle size within a blend to prevent segregation and highlighted the inefficiencies of urea; whereas Kemira previewed a new web site, to be launched on 8th October.

But, despite speculation over the impact of the Kemira Oyj merger on the ownership of the UK plant, and the effects of terrorism in America on fertiliser imports, the net result at the farm gate at the present time is nil.

The market remains flat and prices stable.

The only meaningful speculation is whether nitrogen prices will remain stable into October and then jump by 4/t in November, or whether they will rise a further 2/t into October.

The market will almost certainly start to move again soon, as drilling comes to an end and dairy farmers start to purchase nitrogen.

This will tempt importers to bring in vessels.

There is currently no need to fear any shortage of product following the events in New York.

While they may have just pegged prices for a while, there has been no change in either availability or price.

Freight costs have increased slightly as America has purchased large amounts of bunker oil, but importers should be able to find cargoes at 87/t free-on-truck which will translate to 98-100/t on farm.

In Ireland, things are even quieter.

Irish Fertiliser Industries (IFI), whose loss making operation is still essentially for sale, has brought forward a shutdown from next year and will cease production of compounds, CAN and urea for four weeks or so at the end of September.

With the market in both Northern Ireland and the Republic so slow, farm prices are more or less withdrawn until January.


New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% October domestic nitrogen Imported urea Imported AN Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
September 112-114 No published price Granular 115-120 88 ex-dock
98 delivered fresh
113-115 107-113 120
NPK September, pay cash NS products
Complex 25.5.5 112-118 112-114
15.15.20 No market
20.10.10/29.5.5 118-120
17.17.17 No market
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
110-115 – market virtually over 112-114 125 122


Forecast prices





Complex compounds

Northern Ireland No market 105 122-125 130 124



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* 130-140 No market No market 150

*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=UK80.26p; US$1=UK68.26p on 20 September


    Note All illustrated prices are based on 24-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

    Source: Bridgewater Partnership