STOCK LEVELS of fertiliser are slowly starting to rise as sales continue to be very quiet.
But a stronger demand is still anticipated in the next two or three weeks despite insecurity in the dairy sector.
Cautious buying stems from the unknown effects of the mid-term review, an excess of milk production over quota, and an abundance of grass in the current balmy weather.
Compound sales were ahead of schedule at Christmas and have now dropped to normal cumulative levels for the season.
So far, sales of NK silage products are lower than in the past.
To stimulate sales in a flat period, some parcels of imported Lithuanian nitrogen and urea are offered at reduced prices but even this is not tempting farmers to move until they are ready.
Some suppliers will lose money on urea sales if this trend continues.
But increased stocks would have little effect on new season values as global pricing factors were too great, said Stewart Beer, manager of Terra UK.
Gas prices, notably in America, were too high to allow price cuts and spring 2005 prices would mirror this year, between £130/t and £140/t, he added.
Too much was sold too soon this season, so the forthcoming early season discounts will not be as great.
According to Mr Beer, early season nitrogen is expected to start around £115-120/t.
Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to rationalise their relationships with the merchant trade as Kemira moves closer to Masstock Dalgety , severing ties with other distributors in the process.
Nitrogen (Domestic) N (SP5) 34.5%
Imported AN Lithuanian
|Trace elements||0.24.24||TSP (47%P2O5)||Muriate of|
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium Per acre pack £11.10
Urea, existing stocks only
CAN, large price variations
27. 2.5 5
(dependant on source and quality)
€200 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.
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.