Fertiliser price climbs in IPM survey

Farm inputs prices remained fairly stable in December, according to data generated by the Farmers Weekly/NFU Inputs Price Monitor, with the notable exception of ammonium nitrate fertiliser.

The average price for red diesel, for example, was reported at 45.18p/litre, up just 0.2p on the November 2009 figure, while white diesel averaged 100.8p/litre, just 0.4p higher.

“National averages have been generally steady,” said NFU transport and inputs adviser Peter Garbutt. “There is a large range in reported prices for red diesel, but the vast majority of reports have clustered around 44-46p/litre.

“Generally prices are below levels reported by the Department for Energy and Climate Change,” he added. “But crude oil prices have rallied throughout the second half of December and, with the continued cold weather, they are predicted to stay firm into the New Year.”

Kerosene prices are quoted at 38.8p/litre for December, over 1p up on the previous month, while electricity prices have remained broadly static, with off-peak quoted at 6.8p/kWh and peak averaging 10.25p/kWh.

The only major change since November’s IPM survey has been for home-produced fertiliser, with ammonium nitrate averaging £187/t – up £3 on the month.

“Order sizes reported in December ranged from 10 tonnes to 300 tonnes, with an average order of around 60 tonnes,” said Mr Garbutt. “Prices have firmed further, with many industry sources predicting a bull market for nitrogen in 2010/11, and further increases on the way.”

The robustness of the Inputs Price Monitor depends on enough farmers submitting information on their recent input purchases. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete, is completely anonymous and provides a useful benchmark that all farmers can benefit from. So please take time to fill out January’s survey

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