THE RUSSIANS are coming – but before that raises a vision of bountiful ultra cheap imports let us not forget that Russian exporters are now just as sophisticated as UK importers.
They will pitch their f.o.b. price closely to that which the UK market will stand.
Ammonium nitrate prices in this country have steadily risen this season according to the classic supply/demand equation, within which feed stock energy prices have this year been the major factor.
Now they have reached a point where Russian exporters can realise an acceptable profit on these shores despite paying the EU import duty of 47€.
The strengthening pound is also in their favour, but there are still more lucrative markets to which they can send their fertiliser.
Brazil, for example, puts an area the size of Wales down to agriculture each year.
Lithuanian AN is currently not available and the limited tonnages of Russian AN now en route should reach farm around £148-150/t.
This might seem expensive, but Terra has announced a wholesale price of £155/t for November, which should translate to farm around £158/t.
This could well mean that the much-vaunted price of £160/t is with us before Christmas.
At that stage the rules of supply and demand may well prevent the manufacturers from recovering excessive gas costs by raising prices, as most players expect price resistance to bite hard at this level.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5
£135 where available
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.