By Roger Chesher

WITH Kemira, the compound leader, easing prices last week, Terra, the nitrogen leader, has responded by reducing nitrogen prices.

Domestic nitrogen now stands at 125/t on-farm, a very attractive price compared with existing stocks of imports at 118-120/t.

As always in this industry, all the major players rapidly responded to each other so that nitrogen prices are on a par, unit-for-unit.

Hydro and Kemira complex granule prices are also similar and Terra quality blends are 2/t cheaper.

The lower nitrogen price should enable blenders to respond to the new compound prices, although the gap between blend and complex was so great that they may not need to do so.

These moves were intended to kick-start the market and regain share from the blenders but, while the engine has indeed been started, it is still only coughing and spluttering on three cylinders.

Farmers will only buy product when they need it, and the grass market may well hold on until next season when nitrogen could be as low as 110/t again.

The fertiliser season runs from July to end-June, with prices starting low and rising throughout, at least in theory.

Within the industry, a paper by the director-general of the International Fertiliser Industry Association, recently published by the Fertiliser Society, concludes that the world price trend for fertilisers is downwards.

Periods of low prices have been longer than periods of high prices and there seems to be one “good” (for the manufacturers) year in four.

A persistent global shortage of any of the fertiliser nutrients is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

CURRENT PRICES

Nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% Anticipated new-season (July) domestic nitrogen Imported urea (if available) Imported AN Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
May 125 July 110 Granular 144
Prilled 132
118-120 ex-stock 121 118 140
NPK May, pay cash JUly, imported AN
Complex 25.5.5 121 95-100
15.15.20 144
20.10.10/29.5.5 124
17.17.17 149
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
120-121 114-116 135-140 115-118

 

IRELAND
Forecast spring prices

  Urea

CAN

24.6.12

0.16.36

Complex compounds
27.6.6

Northern Ireland Market over
Imported 140+
122 148 No market 148
 

CAN

24.21/2.10

Urea, imported

27.21/2.5

Republic of Ireland* 145-155 185 190 187

*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=UK78.99p; US$1=UK69.88p on 05 May

     

    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

    market link