By Roger Chesher

EVEN though we are only halfway through the month, it appears that merchants wishing to book nitrogen fertiliser before the 6.00 price hike in January have only two days left.

The December book closes on Friday (15 December), say the manufacturers.

Farm nitrogen business is only at tick-over, despite the large price rise to come. But, given the appalling weather, its obvious that fertiliser will not be uppermost in the mind.

Compounds, however, are moving more steadily; either in the form of NPKs to grass farms or as specialised products for arable top-dressing.

The market for blended fertiliser is quietly under way. List prices seem to be some 4-5 below complex compounds, but farm prices are sometimes keener.

Terra has pitched its blended products some 2/t below complex compound equivalents from Hydro or Kemira.

Imports are slowly moving on to farm and stocks in choked warehouses are being replenished equally slowly.

The overall impression is, however, of the calm before the big spring storm, when record tonnages of product will need to be shifted on to farm.

Meanwhile, Terra is reported to be exporting ammonia to Spain. This move makes sense as, in this truly pan-European market, it is a profitable deal.

With the domestic nitrogen market quiet at present, it is also a way to profit from currently under-used capacity.

On-farm prices have barely changed.

CURRENT PRICES

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

 

IRELAND

  Imported urea

CAN

24.6.12

0.16.36

Complex compounds
27.6.6

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

CAN

24.21/2.10

Urea, imported

27.21/2.5

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=UK76.69p; US$1=UK69.06p on 13 December

     

    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