By Roger Chesher

IT is hardly surprising that under the current weather conditions, fertiliser could not be further from farmers minds.

New orders are therefore non-existent and no one is really interested in taking delivery of orders placed earlier.

The industry is not dormant, however.

On the world scene, urea takes centre stage and looks very competitive compared with ammonium nitrate at present. This is because India has left the market.

But a drop of US$4-5/tonne on the seas will soon be absorbed in margins before urea reaches the UK farm gate. And unless farmers are prepared to pitch in and bring in their own boatload, urea will be sold at market prices.

Kemira Agro have issued an interim statement for January-September, which shows sales world wide up 8% on last year.

However the result for the period was an operating loss of E1.9 million against a loss in the same period last year of E14.3m.

The high cost of natural gas, the prolonged shutdown in the UK and costs associated with closing operations were blamed for these losses.

In the UK, Kemira Agro anticipate closing the year end just in the black, which will be essential if they are to achieve the long overdue ownership changes .

Prices in mainland Britain have hardly changed, whereas in Ireland, which is almost totally a spring market, merchants and blenders are building stocks.

Importers in both the north and south are unlikely to bring in cargoes until the usage period, and current pricing is meaningless.

However, indications of spring prices are beginning to emerge and inevitably they are high.


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
November 122
December 124
January 130
February 132
March 134
Granular 140-144
Prilled 130
112 (Quality) No market yet No market yet No market
NPK November, pay cash January, pay cash April, pay cash (forecast)
Complex 25.5.5 122 126 134
27N30S 124 132
20.10.10/29.5.5 125 129 137
17.17.17 142 146 152
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=UK76.39p; US$1=UK70.52p on 09 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