Domestic nitrogen is still available at the December price of £163+ on farm but finding few takers.
The general feeling seems to be that the forward market will still be around the £160 mark so farmers are once more waiting until they need it.
Even though the area of plantings has given rise to optimism about a future market this season, the total volume of fertiliser sales will still be low.
So, merchants are chasing every order and, as low volumes at low margins is a sure recipe for business failure, margins on fertiliser sales must be maintained.
It seems strange that the recent rises in potash prices, for example, have yet to be passed on fully to the marketplace.
Prices have encouraged shippers to bring in significant volumes of nitrogen, mainly Russian and Lithuanian AN, but also some urea.
These have not gone to farm but are sitting on quaysides and in merchants’ yards attracting storage and finance charges.
This material should, however, be competitive when demand starts, discounting UK product by around £10/t.
Initial thoughts about pricing for the predominantly grass oriented compound fertiliser market have started to emerge.
Complex 25.5.5 should be priced around £155/t this month and will increase in price by £2t/month until January when we should expect a further £6/t hike.
At £158/t this month, 20.10.10 will have a similar price structure.
These high nitrogen compounds are strongly linked to the cost of ammonium nitrate. Arable compound prices may not rise as rapidly.
“Complex” compounds are those where typically all the nutrients stated on the bag are to be found in each granule, in the appropriate proportions. Blended compounds should be cheaper, usually by £ 7-10/t.
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.