By Roger Chesher

THE message about rising fertiliser prices, now long understood by the arable sector, is beginning to catch on.

But word is circulating in the trade that a Russian embargo on exports is expected for January, to ensure ample supplies for domestic demand.

In grassland areas such as south Wales and south-west Scotland, nitrogen is moving gently on to farm.

Generally however, the market is still quiet.

There is still a feeling among some grass producers that the price will come back this spring.

Hope seems to be that domestic product will sell around 120/t, based on the fact that prices have collapsed so many times in the past.

Those collapses were, however, under very different circumstances.

“There is no hope whatsoever of a price collapse,” reported one reputable trader.

“The gap between supply and demand is not being filled by imports.

“November and December imports have been quiet and January and February should be very busy.”

Busy, that is, if material is available.

Word is circulating in the trade that a Russian embargo of exports is expected for January, to ensure ample supplies for domestic demand.

At the moment, the rumoured Russian export embargo seems to apply to phosphates and NPK.

But if clarification reveals that it also applies to nitrogen, then an entire month of Russian shipments will be lost.

The situation should become clearer in the next few days but importers are already seeking to cover the situation for January.

With pressure on supplies and a strong Pound, imported nitrogen will be 118-120/t this spring.

Meanwhile the inexorable rise of domestic prices continues as the November book is closed and the December book opens, with a 2.00/t increase on both compounds and nitrogen.


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)
No market yet No market yet 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=UK75.82p; US$1=UK70.42p on 21 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