High gas spot prices and poor availability in the forward markets have forced UK ammonia producer Terra Nitrogen to turn off the ammonia plant at Teesside. (FWi 30/11/05)
The production of fertiliser will continue from existing stocks of ammonia and supplies purchased on world markets.
Reduced ammonia production continues at the company’s plant at Severnside and the small quantity of surplus gas purchased at forward prices will be sold on.
Kemira’s plant is still shut down for maintenance, with production also supported by purchased ammonia.
Their situation will be reviewed when the plant is finally recommissioned.
Their access to cheaper continental gas is thwarted by restrictions at the interconnector which is ultimately controlled by the gas producing companies.
Despite enormous cost pressure which seemed set to produce a December price of £178/t for domestic ammonium nitrate, both Terra and Kemira have held prices below £170 in the run-up to Christmas.
In January the on-farm price of AN will be around £173/t including delivery and margin.
Of course, imports will be cheaper but the better quality of these products and increased market awareness by the manufacturers means they will always under-shadow the UK price by no more than £10/t.
A just-in-time, wait-and-see farm buying philosophy is widespread and the size of the market to come remains a massive unknown.
So, while regular loads of Lithuanian AN continue to arrive, importers are generally still not too keen to order further supplies.
Compounds have also nudged up by £3/t or so but “high N” will rise dramatically by £10/t in January.
The hope is that grassland farmers will recognise this incentive to buy before Christmas.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5
Imported AN (Russian)
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.