By Mike Stickland
THE early spring weather has stirred activity in the fertiliser market and most merchants are busy with deliveries. But most consignments so far are small lots for immediate delivery, rather than large orders.
The spectre of logistical log-jams worries some suppliers. Blenders are busy, but many farmers are buying from hand to mouth, which makes the market difficult to read.
A number of imported cargoes have arrived – some with small unsold supplies which are keeping prices down.
Further imported shipments are restricted and could be sold profitably at todays prices. But the fragmented trade is making importers nervous of committing themselves ahead of their order books.
As yet, prices have changed little, reflecting the availability of stocks. There is every indication that a substantial tonnage is still to be supplied, and it is likely that prices will rise soon.
Such a scenario is contrary to the world price trend for finished fertilisers so any price increase may be limited and easily reversed once the season is over.