AMMONIUM NITRATE made in the UK has now sold out until October and supplies of grassland compounds are also declining rapidly.
With first quarter volumes already sold, momentum might encourage manufacturers to get the first of the Q2 prices out sooner than expected.
Early indications are that October nitrogen could go on farm in the region of £152/t, a £5 hike above September.
This would bring the Christmas price of AN close to £160/t, a figure which some speculated would be the season’s peak next spring.
But, this speculation was based rather on “what the market would bear” than on the economics of manufacture which today look rather grim.
With the forward price for gas reaching more than £1/therm in January, AN would be pushed way above the £160/t mark.
Admittedly, the gas price should then fall back towards the spring, leading to a reduction of production costs in Q4.
But, who would buy expensive AN in the winter when it is not required, only to be able to buy cheaper at the usage period?
A more likely scenario is a rash of factory shut downs during the high gas period, and price hedging to ensure at least some structure in the market.
That said, the figure of £160/t in the spring is beginning to look more like a minimum than a maximum.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5
£135 where available
Muriate of Potash(60%K2O)
20.10.10 / 27.5.5
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium
Straight and compound
Republic of Ireland†
|£200 (existing stocks only)||€270-280|
(dependant on source and quality)
†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.