14 September, 2000

If the fertiliser market was dormant last week, then this week it seems positively moribund.

That is, as far as price changes are concerned. It seems that the next significant price movements will be on compounds when a new price list is published next month.

In the meantime, high nitrogen compounds look competitive against straight nitrogen but no-one is currently buying.

Inevitably, suppliers are considering the impact of the fuel crisis. So far, movement of fertiliser is down as hauliers are loathe to move far from depot, being unable to refill on the motorways.

Merchant hauliers will probably have enough fuel to move locally until next week, but feed will take priority over fertiliser. The first major impact on the whole industry will be felt if milk tankers fail to collect.

The fertiliser industry will have enough raw materials for 10 days or so. Thereafter, re-scheduling of production in favour of straight nitrogen will take place, provided people can get into work.

Camping out in a fertiliser plant, which is the alternative, is not a heady prospect.

Although business is trickling on, the immediate spot market is drying up.

The PK market is now very slow, as more and more farmers decide to give this dressing a miss for a year.

There is still no news from Kemira concerning the ownership of the UK business. The company is still optimistic that plans will be in place by the year-end, but the September announcement now seems unlikely.

It would appear that negotiations centre on finding a financier to take a major share in a joint venture between Kemira and G P of France. Neither fertiliser partner wishes to see nitrogen fertiliser occupying a major share of the business portfolio.

CURRENT MARKETS (prices in £)

New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% 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

October  119-120

Jan 130
Feb 132
Mar 134
Granular 135
prilled 125
106-108 (Quality) 100 105 No market

NPK August Cash
Complex 25.5.5 112
27N30S 121
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)
118 106-115 125 115



  Imported urea




Complex compounds

Northern Ireland Not available 95 No Market No market 117-122



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* 120-124 No Market Not available No Market

*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£

  • IR£1=UK£0.776590 on 7 September

    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