By Roger Chesher

E-COMMERCE featured heavily at Smithfield 2000 this week, with at least two exhibitors now on the brink of supplying fertiliser over the internet.

The CLA, which launched its service on Sunday, hinted of links with a major manufacturer. expects to be trading fertiliser in January.

While it did not seem possible to actually purchase fertiliser over the web today (29 November) one dot-com company, Farm Express, was yesterday offering a range of ammonium nitrate-based blended NPKs at extremely low prices for delivery before Christmas.

The Bunn fertilisers group, one of Britains largest blenders, has been a pioneer in fertiliser web site development.

Currently it offers order tracking as a service to customers. Full purchase of fertiliser from Bunns cannot be far behind.

Most players in the industry agree that e-commerce will be upon us sooner rather than later but the logistical problems of delivering such a bulky order, together with financial, statutory and health and safety requirements still present some obstacles.

Meanwhile, shakeouts continue in the industry as employees of the machinery division of Hydro-Chafer stage a management buy out.

The Hydro-owned N Sensor will be leased to them and liquid fertiliser will continue to be supplied by the parent company.

Long-awaited changes in the ownership of Kemira in the UK will not now be in place until next year.

Importers continue to cover their businesses against the still rumoured Russian embargo whilst the forward January market begins to pick up.

Prices remain largely unchanged.


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
December 124 January 130
February 132
March 134
Granular 140-144
Prilled 130
114 (Quality)
118-120 (March)
118-120 115-118 No market
NPK December, pay cash January, pay cash April, pay cash (forecast)
Complex 25.5.5 124 126 134
27N30S 126 132
20.10.10/29.5.5 127 129 137
17.17.17 144 146 152
After-cut NK cash 0.24.24 TSP (47% P2O5) Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)
118 106-115 130 122



  Imported urea




Complex compounds

Northern Ireland Not available 120-125 No prices No market No prices



Urea, imported


Republic of Ireland* 145 180 Not available 177

*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=UK77.04p; US$1=UK70.18p on 29 November


    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