By Roger Chesher

IN Ireland, the market is just starting and merchants start to de-stock but, as in Britain, the lack of business is totally unusual.

With the impact of possible farm cutbacks yet to be assessed, small boatloads of imported urea starting to appear and general market unease, prices in Ireland are under pressure.

Nitrogen prices have pegged back slightly from the initial guidelines but compounds, especially in Eire, are, if anything, higher.

The mainland UK market does not behave in the same way and easing of pricing is not likely.

Leeway, if any, will be found in the blender sector, where manufacturers will be anxious to generate returns on the raw materials already purchased.

With very little change in the marketplace since last week, the almost unthinkable has happened as manufacturers reduce production at what should be the peak period.

Kemira has, reportedly, temporarily shut down one of its nitric acid plants to stem manufacture as farmers throughout the UK continue to hold off purchase and delivery of fertiliser.

Hydro, now importing nitrogen supplies, can delay importation or divert it to other markets.

Admittedly, conditions for spreading are not quite right in many parts of Britain and farmers will hold off until the last possible moment, but foot-and-mouth fears and restrictions are having a major impact on fertiliser movement.

Logistics continue to be the major concern at all levels, manufacturer, merchant, and hauliers, as more and more potential business is funneled into an ever-declining time scale.


New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% Anticipated spring price nitrogen Imported urea (if available) Imported AN (new season) Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
March 134
April 134
Granular 144
Prilled 132
March 125 124-126 121-123 140
NPK March, pay cash April, pay cash (forecast)
Complex 25.5.5 132 133
27N30S 138
20.10.10/29.5.5 135 135
17.17.17 151 151
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
No market 114-116 135-140 115-118







Complex compounds

Northern Ireland Domestic prilled 150
Imported 140+
122+ 155 No market 153-155



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* 145-155 190-193 190 187-190

*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=UK80.06p; US$1=UK68.63p on 14 March


    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