THE flurry of interest in nitrogen last week has slowed down again as farmers devote their attention to harvest.

The prices resulting from the coming-together of merchant and distributor at about £85/t delivered for UK nitrogen has not been eroded, and merchant deals below that level will “definitely not be supported.”

Indeed, the terms for August and September currently on offer to merchants will put nitrogen on farm at £89-90t.

This determination to maintain prices has resulted in a pre-harvest market which some estimate may be 40% down on last year in volume.

Meanwhile, the recently reported import of 0.26.26 has placed pressure on the price for domestic blended 0.24.24 which is now about £114-115/t.

Liquid fertiliser users are sometimes said to be somewhat isolated from the cut and thrust of commercial trading in bagged material.

This is partly so for compound users, where products contain different materials with different agronomic attributes, but the price for liquid nitrogen is just as keen as the solid counterpart.

Liquid users account for 500,000 tonnes of the UK;s five million-tonne market (10%), but the material tends not to go on to farm until nearer the usage period, so the current price about £95 for 100,000 litres is to some extent arbitrary.

100 litres of liquid N contains 37kg of N which, taking into account the specific gravity of the liquid, usually about 1.25g/l, means one tonne of liquid with 29.6% nitrogen will cost £76.

In terms of price per unit of nitrogen, therefore theres currently very little in it.

CURRENT MARKETS

Immediate delivery N Post-harvest delivery N September delivery N Imported urea Imported nitrogen deliver December Imported 0.26.26 Domestic 0.24.24 blended Liquid Nitrogen, 37kg/100 litres or 29.6% N per tonne
£85 £92-95 dependent on month £89-90 £93 granular/£85 prilled £73 £121-122 £114-115 £95/100,000 litres or £76/t

 

IRELAND

 

Imported CAN

CAN

27.6.6 complex

25.5.5 complex

24.6.12 complex

Northern Ireland 85 88-90 124-128 112-117 120-123
 

CAN

27.21/2.5

18.6.12

10.10.20

Republic of Ireland* 99-104 137-143 140-147 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
92 92 130 117 120

 

BACKGROUND MARKET

Products not currently traded in volume

  20.10.10 complex/blend* KN KNS 20.5.15
England/Wales Grassland Markets 110-115/105-110 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
130-135 135-140

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