THERE is still a gap between market expectations and the willingness of domestic suppliers to meet them. Meanwhile, importers still seem unwilling to commit to significant tonnages of nitrogen for the new season.

Any uncertainty seems to be restricted to the current pre-harvest period, with manufacturers insisting that there will be no deviation from the price of £87/t delivered.

Talk of keener prices in the central south would therefore appear to be speculation on the part of merchants.

There is, however more confidence that the post harvest period will see domestic prices established in the low £90s, depending on delivery and payment terms.

This confidence is giving rise to suggested prices of £82/t for imported ammonium nitrate post-harvest.

Imported granular urea is currently finding a market in the region of £95/t and the few tonnages of imported ammonium nitrate currently available are now in the higher £70s.

With the Fertiliser Manufacturers Association (FMA) scheme for measuring the quality of nitrogen fertiliser gaining ground, more importers are taking advantage of the scheme to assess their products and add value.

A range of prices depending on the FMA “SP” rating is more likely in the future. Ratings range from SP1 (unacceptable), to SP5 – the best.

At least one importer, keen to become more insulated from the vagaries of the volatile nitrogen market, has resorted to innovation.

At the Royal Show this week, Regent Fertilisers of Swindon unveiled the Spokewheel Injection System, a novel machine which delivers liquid nitrogen with slow release properties precisely to the root zone of row crops.

Added value is obviously their incentive, but efficiency, financial and environmental benefits are claimed for the farmer.

CURRENT MARKETS

NITROGEN

Pre-harvest delivery Post harvest delivery Small loads pay November Imported Granular urea Imported nitrogen
£87 £88 £92-95 dependent on month £92 £95 £77 few imports

 

GREAT BRITAIN

 

20.10.10

Complex/blend*

KN

KNS

20.5.15

England/Wales Grassland Markets 110-115/

105-110

90-95 90-95 90-95
England Arable Markets No Market 93-96 93-96 93-96
Scotland 108-112/

103-108

90-95 90-95 90-95

*Complex fertilisers are those where typically all nutrients are combined in one granule.

 

IRELAND

 

CAN

27.6.6 complex

25.5.5 complex

24.6.12 complex

Northern Ireland 92-96 125-130 115-120 123-126
 

CAN

27.2 Omega.5

18.6.12

10.10.20

Republic of Ireland*

102-107 140-146 143-150 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£

 

FORTHCOMING MARKETS

Anticipated general prices from 01 June

N/S (High S)

N/S (Low S)

PK. 0.24.24

92 92 120

 

BACKGROUND MARKET

Products not currently traded in volume

0.24.24

15.15.20

17.17.17

120 130-135 135-140

Note All illustrated prices are based upon 20 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

Source: Bridgewater Associates