THE autumn PK market, such as it is, rumbles on quietly and nitrogen continues to trickle onto farm around £85-87 delivered. “We must”, say the manufacturers, “have really hit the bottom now!”

This is, of course, good news for farmers who can reasonably expect these current ultra low prices to continue until “something happens.”

The point about this European, if not global, fertiliser business is that if the bottom has truly been reached, then something will happen. Someone, somewhere will close down and capacity will leave the industry.

Already, on a European scale all the major manufacturers have tweaked production to some extent by shutting down minor plant. This hasnt happened yet in the UK but is always an option.

The scale of the situation is that within Europe, which is a market of 12m tonnes of nitrogen, there is an excess capacity of 2m tonnes. Thats actual N, not product, so taking compounds and nitrogen together as containing, on average, 25% N, this translates to an excess of 8m tonnes of fertiliser.

Hydro and Kemira continue to assert their continuing interest in agriculture, including plant nutrients. Conversely, IFI, Terra, DSM and GP amongst others have either in the past or are currently expressing a wish to leave the fertiliser industry.

Clearly, something must give and if the market has truly bottomed out it will be soon. Meanwhile, fertiliser prices on farm have rarely been keener.

CURRENT MARKETS

Immediate delivery N Post-harvest delivery N September delivery N Imported urea Imported N deliver December Imported 0.26.26 Domestic 0.24.24 blended Liquid N, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t
£85 £87-89 dependent on month £90 £93 granular/
£85 prilled
£73 £120 £112-116 £95/100,000 litres or £76/t

 

IRELAND

No urea market at present

  Imported CAN

CAN

27.6.6 complex

25.5.5 complex

24.6.12 complex

Northern Ireland 85 85 122 112 120
 

CAN

27.21/2.5

18.6.12

10.10.20

Republic of Ireland* 100-104 140-145 No market 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£

 

FORTHCOMING MARKETS

Anticipated general prices post-harvest

N/S (High S) N/S (Low S) TSP (47% P2O5) Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) PK 0.24.24
91 91 130 117 120

 

BACKGROUND MARKET

Products not currently traded in volume.
Some spot business in grass sectors.

  20.10.10 and 25.5.5 complex/blend* KN KNS 20.5.15
England/Wales Grassland Markets 100-105/95-100 90-95 90-95 90-95
England Arable Markets No Market 93-96 93-96 93-96
Scotland 108-112/103-108 90-95 90-95 90-95

*Complex fertilisers are those where typically all nutrients are combined in one granule.

15.15.20 17.17.17
£128 £130-135

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 Associates