By Roger Chesher

IT has been a strange week in the fertiliser industry as supplies of nitrogen get tighter, farm interest continues to develop but merchants are slow to join in the game.

Supplies of nitrogen to blenders appear to be extremely tight this week following a major shutdown of Hydro on the continent. A similar major shutdown is planned for Kemira later this spring.

CAN and AN are in short supply, Poland is retaining AN for the home market, Lithuanian AN is in short supply and Russian is not available.

Consequently the price of imported AN has now risen to 82/t on farm with granular urea still not available.

Under these circumstances one would expect domestic AN to be at least 92 on farm whereas in reality it still hovers around 88-90/t.

Merchants, reported one trader, are reluctant to recognise that prices really are starting to move up.

Blenders, on the other hand have been trading PKs at an additional 5.00 /t.

Although farmers are now talking fertiliser, deliveries are still very slow, which is surprising considering the bargain prices currently available.

This could be the fact that merchants have been slow to get going this spring, or could be a feature of the dearth of farm gate credit this season.

Either way, both on the mainland and in Ireland there will be an almighty rush in March and April

CURRENT MARKETS

Immediate delivery N (SP5) March delivery N pay April Imported urea Imported N deliver December Blended 20.10.10 Blended 25.5.5 Liquid N, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
£88-93 £94 Granular/prilled – no market £82 higher quality £97 £90 £95/100,000 litres or £76/t

NPK January/February, pay April
Complex 25.5.5 100-103
20.10.10/29.5.5 February 107-110
17.17.17 February 132

N/S (High S) N/S (Low S) TSP (47% P2O5) Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)
87 87 125 120

 

IRELAND

  Imported urea

CAN

0.23.24

0.16.36

Complex compounds

Northern Ireland 120 No market No market No market No market
 

CAN

0.10.20

Urea, imported

0.7.30

Republic of Ireland* No market No market 130 No market

*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£

 

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 Partnership