By Mike Stickland
ALTHOUGH harvest is over for most there has been little interest in buying fertiliser, other than steady but thin demand for PK fertilisers, mainly by the truckload or less.
The price of PKs remains the same, but small order size means most business is at the higher end of the spread.
UK ammonium nitrate manufacturers are trying to squeeze low-price material out of the system to achieve prices in the £93-95/t range delivered on-farm. But trade is very thin and the little business being done still seems to be sub-£90/t.
Imported fertiliser sales are well down this season. More old stocks have been cleared, some at very low prices (£71/t), and a few cargoes have been sold. Price on-farm varies with quality, ranging from about £74/t for Polish material to £80/t for Lithuanian supplies. West European stocks are worth low- to mid-£80s.
Much of this years buying will probably take place when fertiliser is needed, by which time manufacturers will have pushed prices a little higher. The next three months could be the optimum period to buy.
Fertiliser prices, October 1998 (£/t) (updated monthly)
Region Domestic AN Imported AN Urea Prills 0-24-24 South East 87-91 75-82 93-99 110-114
South West 88-90 74-81 95-99 109-113
East Anglia 86-90 74-80 95-99 110-112
Midlands 86-90 73-82 96-99 108-111
Wales 88-92 79-83 NM 112-115
North East 89-92 77-80 96-99 112-117
North West 89-92 79-82 NM 113-117
Scotland 88-91 77-82 NM 112-116