Steady arable market as compounds move in west

Movement of compounds has been steady in the grassy west but with 70% of the nitrogen market complete, the arable market is quieter, writes fertiliser commentator Roger Chesher.


Many UK sellers of imports are holding stock which, in the case of urea, had been going on farm at £410/t. Weakness in the global urea price is applying pressure to this market and we have seen prices down to £365/t on farm, but with low volumes.

Importers to France, often a useful indicator, have seen purchase prices drop from $525 fob to $460 fob which would put urea in the £360/t bracket on farm. However, Calum Findlay of Gleadell has noted signs of purchase interest in Pakistan and the USA and this, together with India’s presence in the market will no doubt firm up the market once more.

There is a similar tale for ammonium nitrate with Polish prills on offer at £315/t and Lithuanian ammonium nitrate (Lithan) at £325/t, again with few takers.

The message for farmers is to take fertiliser when convenient with a slight caveat concerning delivery. There are still huge tonnages to deliver before March and properly licensed haulage becomes harder and harder to find.

So, for those who have a precise or exact requirement on a given day, it might be a good idea to move sooner rather than later.

Prices for straight P and K have eased somewhat, which may tempt straights buyers to take a look. Movement of compound fertilisers to livestock farmers is currently quite strong, with steady pricing. Here the only hindrance to delivery is storage space on farm which increases week on week as clamps are emptied.

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