Ammonium nitrate price steadies after £5/t rise

The ammonium nitrate market is steady after a £5/t rise for UK manufactured product.

This puts it on farm at £192-£196/t spot or for October delivery, with no prices currently being offered beyond that.

With an estimated 40-50% of autumn product already ordered in arable areas, traders are expecting a quiet time through harvest with prices likely to stay flat.

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With UK product at its current price, imported ammonium nitrate is hardly getting a look-in. What is about is on offer at £183-£188/t delivered spot.

However, urea is priced as low as it has ever been for autumn 2017 and is still available at £202-£210/t delivered for July and September-December where stocks are in store and, as a result, is still seeing some activity.

Fertiliser update – July (£/t delivered)*

UK 34.5% N Granular urea Imported AN 20:10:10
 (46% N) (blend)    
£192-£196 £202-£210 £183-£188 £220-£229
Potash (MOP) Phosphate (DAP) Phosphate (TSP) 25:5:5 (blend)
£245-£253 £325-£345 £255-£265 £200-£209
*All illustrated prices are based on full loads for cash payment month following

A slightly stronger pound against the US dollar has helped keep UK prices at this level, however prices for new urea cargoes have risen by £8-£10/t in the past few days. This is the result of a planned shut-down of a plant in Egypt alongside increased local demand, and if it sticks, this would put product on to farm at £210-£215/t for autumn.

Traders caution that for several reasons the urea market is very volatile and this should not be taken as a general indication that prices are rising.

Prices are flat for both phosphate and potash, on slow demand. The blends and compounds market is quiet, with an aggressive NPK campaign expected to begin in October, offering October-December delivery.