Fertiliser market report- November 2006

The price of urea on the global market is rising, now some $30 higher than last month, which, if farmers were buying, would place UK farm prices for granular material in the region of £183 /t.

Those who bought early in the £160’s/t have secured a good deal, but not all the cargoes sold on farm earlier have yet arrived and the supply situation is tight. Time now, perhaps to look at the small print of the contract, but the nature of the UK merchant trade is such that, fortunately for the farmer, most are watertight.

The home fertiliser market remains quiet, but with these international price rises, domestic material looks very cheap and there is an expectation that things are about to change.

The industry expects to sell another 1M/t of nitrogen before the end of the season, together with 1.5M/t NPK compounds, with or without sulphur.
A lack of supply is driving global prices upwards, but the constant and totally unrealistic talk of unexpectedly cheaper gas costs is holding UK farmers back from committing to purchase.

With low order books, the inescapable laws of supply and demand within the UK are therefore still holding the domestic price of ammonium nitrate at the mid £150’s level per tonne. This is unsustainable and at these levels, even the Russians are not bothering to compete.

It is, of course good news for farmers as the price is now unlikely to jump £15 to meet the manufacturers’ ambitions for £170/t in January.
£160 is nearer the mark.

The same has happened to compound prices which have trimmed back a small amount, but are set to rise in line with increasing costs of  P and K

Interestingly, “traditional” pre-Christmas purchasing is not happening and farmers wishing to cash in on the current situation must be quick of the mark before the ever lengthening holiday season starts.

After Christmas the price structure must surely be different. And, with large tonnages to deliver the logistical problem will be great. Each year we seem to hear this warning, yet fertiliser deliveries, by and large, manage to get through.

But safety and security legislation makes it more difficult each year to source expensively trained and licensed hauliers, thus adding to the problem.

In Ireland, prices quoted are speculative as no farm business is likely to be completed before the early spring. Manufacturers, merchants and importers are busily spending this period ensuring future supplies at, hopefully, reasonable prices.


Great Britain


Domestic N
(34.5%N) SP5

Imported AN 
only Lithuanian

Imported urea

Liquid UAN
37kg N/100litre


October pricing now £155

Poor supplies

Granular £183.No real supplies

No market


TSP (47%P2O5) £148 upward trend  
Muriate of Potash (60%K2O) £148 upward trend  









From £148






20.10.10 / 27.5.5


From £145






Aftercuts (NK)


No market


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 £152 £180 £160 £170
of Ireland
No data, but competitive €200-225 €275  

€275 (CCF)

€245 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.
*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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