LOW prices continue to place pressure on the fertiliser industry, and last weeks speculation was proved correct when IAWS announced rationalisation of their blending business.

Formerly Independent Fertilisers, IAWS Fertilisers UK Ltd is owned by the Irish Co-ops and based at Royston. It has announced closure of its blending facilities at Southampton, Kings Lynn and Ellesmere Port.

The company blames difficult conditions generally within agriculture and predicts ongoing changes with improvement of plants at Plymouth, Newport, Ipswich, Althorpe, Ayr and Middlesborough.

This rationalisation makes sense but with farm delivery increasingly taking over from collection, the impact on farmer choice will be negligible.

The estimated 60,000 tonne reduction in capacity could well be accommodated by developments at the other locations and is certainly far less than that required to place the industry in a better balance of supply and demand.

Farmers continue to purchase fertilisers only when needed, and farm stocks are estimated at zero.

Conversely, merchants and manufacturers have ample stocks throughout the UK, which provides no incentive to commission boatloads of imported fertiliser on spec.

Indeed imported volumes are expected to remain low well into the new season, which starts in June..

Prices of imported nitrogen are reported to be rising slightly as limited parcels in the high £70s are sold off.

The NK market in Scotland has opened with prices at £94-97, while in England and Wales this market has become even keener.

Stable phosphate prices lead to little change in the NPK markets and increased interest in sulphur fertilisers is reported.

CURRENT MARKETS

 

 

20.10.10

complex/blend*

KN

KNS

20.5.15

AN (Import)

AN (Domestic)

England/Wales Grassland Markets

110-115/

105-110

90-95

90-95

90-95

80-84

92

England Arable Markets

No Market

93-96

93-96

93-96

79-81

88-92

Scotland

108-112/

103-108

94-97

94-97

94-97

80

92

*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

96-100

128-130

118-120

125-128

 

CAN

27.2Omega.5

18.6.12

10.10.20

Republic of Ireland*

105-109

143-147

146-150

158-162

*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 June 1st

AN (Import)

AN (Domestic)

N/S (High S)

N/S (Low S)

PK. 0.24.24

78-80

88-90

92

88-92

118

 

BACKGROUND MARKET

Products not currently traded in volume

0.24.24

15.15.20

17.17.17

118

130+

134

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