Fertiliser market report

As is so often the case in the fertiliser industry a period of intense activity has been followed by one of disinterest, at least as far as new orders are concerned.

The reason is, of course, a combination of harvest and catching up following bad weather.

Arable farmers have largely stocked up with nitrogen and second cut silage has drifted into big bales with very little interest in after cut fertilisers.

Wet season

The season has been so wet that grazing fertilisers have not generally been purchased.

Manufacturers are still busy, however, fulfilling existing orders. So busy have they been, that October pricing now applies, with nitrogen listed at £168/tonne. Not surprisingly there are few takers.

The next significant market is, traditionally, the autumn PK season. This has been less busy of late as growers increasingly tend to apply these nutrients at any time of the year, and PK “holidays” are also common.

‘Phosphate holidays’

Phosphate prices are still at unprecedented high levels and farmers will be strongly tempted to continue their “holidays”.

Agronomically this could prove to be a big mistake. There are signs of interest in this market with PKs starting in excess of £180/tonne.

Imports, like the rest of the industry, are quiet.

Kemira and Terra

Following disappointment that the joint venture between Kemira and Terra was delayed because of concerns for competition in the industrial chemical side of the business, the Competition Commission is due to consider latest proposals on the 17th of this month.

A “positive” outcome is expected by both parties on the 21st.

It has been difficult for many farmers to perceive this proposal as positive, limiting, as it will, the number of home based ammonia producers to one.

Economies of scale

For some time now the “market” for nitrogen has been pan European, if not global and if we are to retain any kind of British ammonia production, given our gas costs, economies of scale must take place.

The business plan for the new company is in place and we shall see to what extent concerns may be justified when the next big tranche of nitrogen business takes place. This is usually just before Christmas.

Great Britain


Domestic N
(34.5%N) SP5

Imported AN 
only Lithuanian

Imported urea

Liquid UAN
37kg N/100litre

 (28.8 %N/t)



around £168

Limited imports


Granular £185

Prilled  no interest





TSP (47%P2O5)

£230 tight availability


Muriate of Potash (60%K2O)

£165 upward trend












From £152





£190 but priced out of market





20.10.10 / 27.5.5


From £158










Aftercuts (NK)






27.6.6 (imported)






32.5.0 (imported)


 No market




Autumn grades (PK)













Trace elements

Copper, zinc, selenium,
cobalt Iodine and sodium

£11.80/acre pack









No market




No longer used

Phosphate regulations

of Ireland



No market


€276 (CCF)

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.
*Known as 24.2½.10 blend in the Republic of Ireland
**Known as 27.2½.5 in ROI

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.

Source: Bridgewater


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