By Roger Chesher

MANY decisionmakers from both the fertiliser industry and the merchant trade are still not at their desks following the Christmas/New Year break and the Oxford conference.

It is therefore not surprising that there has been little change in the markets since mid-December.

However, movement of outstanding orders has been steady over the holiday period, in all segments of the market, so stocks have not been building significantly.

There are signs that shipments of imports are beginning to move, but imported AN purchased today would still be around the 102-103/t mark on farm.

While domestic AN can still be had at the Christmas price of 110-113/t, there are definite signs that the period of flat pricing is about to end.

The supply/demand equation is swinging towards the supplier as demand increases and, by the end of this month nitrogen is anticipated to be around 115/t or in some cases as much as 118/t.

And there is every expectation that domestic ammonium nitrate will exceed 122/t on farm in April/May.

Compounds, too, should creep up by 2/t a month from now on.

This pricing has long been forecast and there is a degree of incredulity within the trade as to why so many farm businesses have left fertiliser purchases so late this season.

An estimated 40% of the market outstanding represents over 1m tonnes of product still to be delivered over the usage period.


New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% February domestic nitrogen Imported urea Imported AN Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
January 110-118 118-119 Prilled 124 102-103 115 108 120
NPK January NS products
Complex 25.5.5 113-115 117
15.15.20 136
20.10.10/29.5.5 121
17.17.17 140
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
No market 112-114; market virtually over 128 120


Forecast prices





Complex compounds

Northern Ireland No market 98 122-125 130 124



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* Euro165-178 No market No market Euro190

*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 Euros

  • Euro1=UK62.17; US$1=UK68.97 on 4 January


    Note All illustrated prices are based on 24-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

    Source: Bridgewater Partnership