By Roger Chesher

THE 2000/2001-fertiliser season draws to an end with a flurry of sales in May, all of which are for immediate use.

The spring as a whole will have disappointed suppliers expectations, with low volumes caused by poor weather and reduced plantings, topped off by foot-and-mouth.

May, however, made up for this in part as farmers could finally get on to crops for top-dressing.

The high level of sales led to some competition in the marketplace and prices have fallen back by a pound or two on previous weeks, but the big price drop was, of course, at the beginning of the month.

Some suppliers have expressed surprise at the size of orders, some as little as 1.5 tonnes, which means that users would need to pay a hefty premium for so small a delivery.

There must be sense in pooling orders and sharing the savings where possible.

With the new season pricing imminent, there is only speculation that nitrogen will be pitched around 108-110 in July.

Importers are still clearing the decks before committing to new material but should be able to compete at around 100 when the time comes.

The big question remains; will farmers benefit from buying early in the 2001/2002 season as they have in this?

On balance they should, as demand next spring is forecast to be considerably higher than this.


New-season 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
June 120-124 July 108-110 No market 116-120 ex-stock 116-117 113-115 140
NPK June, pay cash July, imported N
Complex 25.5.5 118-120 95-100
15.15.20 143
20.10.10/29.5.5 121
17.17.17 148
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
118 114-116 135-140 115-118


Forecast spring prices





Complex compounds

Northern Ireland Market over 122 148 No market 148



Urea, imported


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=UK77.82p; US$1=UK72.36p on 08 June


    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

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