BRITISH PRICES for fertiliser will come as a shock to spring spot buyers, but these farmers are relatively few, with most having bought early.
The situation in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is entirely different, because the overwhelming majority of farmers purchase their fertiliser only when they need it.
Merchants would normally be buying ahead and placing material into store, but faced with such high prices and a totally unknown future volume of sales, the majority are gambling on spot prices.
After all, factories will still be in full swing, and operating at March gas costs, so there is always the possibility that economical bargains may be struck.
There is a view that some producers will simply take the single farm payment and not bother to till the land
Part time farmers are no longer expected to be part of the equation and rents, previously buoyed by the prospect of subsidies, are beginning to fall drastically.
In this climate, very little product is going into store.
With the loss of its state subsidised fertiliser industry; Ireland is now wholly dependent upon imports and truly part of the global fertiliser market.
The price differential between north and south is rapidly disappearing and values are close to those of continental Europe.
Under these circumstances, price may not be the only issue, as availability could well come into play.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Nitrogen (Domestic) N (SP5) 34.5%
Imported AN Lithuan
No market yet
Jan (add £3 for March)
|Trace elements||0.24.24||TSP (47%P2O5)||Muriate of|
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium Per acre pack £11.10
Benchmark prices. Compounds out of season.
Urea, existing stocks only
CAN, large price variations
27. 2.5 . 5
(dependant on source and quality)
€200 import blend
*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.
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.