Nitrogen prices unlikely to rise much more

ALTHOUGH WE are only two months into the 2005/2006 fertiliser season, nitrogen sales are currently running into month five (November) production and at November prices.


Most of the activity centres on traditional arable early buyers and their merchant or group secretary’s desire to see them comfortably accommodated.


The background market, in this harvest period, is relatively quiet.


And, with harvest yet to be completed and plantings still not finalised, the potential fertiliser market size and market share sold are hard to quantify.


Supply and demand are still in balance and manufacturers are providing strong hints that the price is now less likely to exceed £160/t following Christmas.


That is despite ominously high forward gas prices.


Kemira, in particular, will not actually manufacture a great deal of ammonia at the time of peak costs as their plant is scheduled for a statuary shutdown.


This will be extended to install various efficiency-enhancing measures.


Farmers, therefore, have at least some reassurance that nitrogen prices are unlikely to rise much further.


Likewise, irrespective of no indication of market size, manufacturers are confident that there will be enough fertiliser to go round, despite more lucrative markets elsewhere.


As previously reported, £160/t is now sufficient to lure Russian imports into Britain, duty paid, and these will typically trade some £10/t below domestic 34.5%AN.


The Irish farmer however, has yet to enter the market and merchants too have failed to commit. For some, fertiliser prices will be a costly surprise in the spring.


CURRENT PRICES (£/t)


Great Britain

























Straight


Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5

Nov £157-158

Imported AN 
Lithuanian & Bulgarian


£148


Imported urea



£195 granular
£195 prills (where available)


Liquid UAN
37kg/100litres (29.6%N/t)


No market


TSP (47%P2O5)


£145


Muriate of Potash(60%K2O)


£133



















































Compound


 


Complex


Blended


25.5.5


£148


From £138


15.15.20


£168


 


20.10.10 / 27.5.5


£151


From £140


17.17.17


£173


 


Aftercuts NK


 


£148


27.6.6 (imported)


 


 


32.5.0 (imported)


£136-138

Autumn grades (PK)

 


£133-135
















Trace elements

Copper, zinc, selenium,
cobalt Iodine and sodium

£11.10/acre pack





Ireland







































Straight and compound


 


Northern Ireland


Republic of Ireland†


Urea

No market No market
CAN £132 €162+

24.6.12 aftercut*


No market


No market


25.5.5


£152


 


27.6.6 complex**


£162


€230-245+ (CCF)
€230-235 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  prices are based on 24t loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.
Source: Bridgewater

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