NITROGEN PRICES remain stable at the farm gate although little business is being done.
Harvest for farmers and holidays for the trade have taken priority.
There is, however, sufficient confidence for importers to commit to cargoes with both Russian AN and Bangladeshi urea available.
Despite reported cargoes of 20,000t, volumes are not as high as last year, with production costs remaining a major factor behind market volatility.
Granular urea should reach farm around £184-190/t with prills at £170-175/t. The latter represents particularly good value for those with the ability to spread smaller prills accurately or put it into solution.
Ammonia prices remain high, notably in the US, where flood damage on the Mississippi has now also affected significant urea tonnages awaiting shipment.
The States, therefore, represents a lucrative market for exporters of fertiliser.
Phosphate prices are also set to rise, although interest in the nutrient remains unusually quiet for this time in the season.
Despite volatility in gas costs, UK manufacturers seem set on leveling out AN farm prices around £163/t from Christmas and beyond.
This will at least help the decision-making process when the time comes to fix sowing acreages.
Generally speaking, each kg of ammonium nitrate results in a yield of 23kg of grain (up to optimum application levels), so with a grain price of £60/t, nitrogen still gives a 3:1 response.
But £160+/t for ammonium nitrate could well be the point at which the market starts to seriously resist.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5
Imported AN (Russian)
Muriate of Potash(60%K2O)
20.10.10 / 27.5.5
|Autumn grades (PK)|
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium
Straight and compound
Republic of Ireland†
|No market||No market|
†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.