By Roger Chesher

ALTHOUGH the market continues to favour the early buyer well over 60% has yet to be committed, shows an analysis by Terra, the UK nitrogen leaders.

This is in spite of the fact that prices are moving steadily upwards by 2/t per month, and, if last year’s pattern is repeated, we could experience a bigger hike around January.

However, this time last year, domestic nitrogen was priced at 122/t, 8 more than the current price of 114/t.

But it would almost certainly be wrong to conclude that prices will ease in the spring because the annual price has dropped.

This is underlined by a steadily increasing price for gas, the feedstock for ammonia production in the UK, which has moved from 18.5p/therm in July to a forward price of 24.4p/therm for December.

With import cargoes now on the high seas it would appear that the bulk of imported AN supplies will be available after Christmas.

Urea imports, on the other hand, are significantly ahead of the position in 2000.

The compound market remains competitive, particularly in the South West, with active discounting in some regions.

But, as with the nitrogen market, despite the current pre-Christmas activity the bulk of the business will be in the spring.

CURRENT PRICES

New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5% December 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
November 113-115 No published price; expected 115-118 Granular 115-120 New season; around 99-103 110 107 120
NPK November NS products
Complex 25.5.5 117 117
15.15.20 134
20.10.10/29.5.5 120-121
17.17.17 139-140
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) bagged Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
110-115 – market virtually over 112-114 125 122

 

IRELAND
Forecast prices

  Urea

CAN

24.6.12

0.16.36

Complex compounds
27.6.6

Northern Ireland No market 105 122-125 130 124
 

CAN

24.21/2.10

Urea, imported

27.21/2.5

Republic of Ireland* 130-140 No market No market 150

*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=UK79.24p; US$1=UK70.18p on 25 October

     

    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