Fertiliser prices are largely stable in a thin trade as harvest takes priority.
Downward pressure on most farm output prices and especially on grain also means that growers are holding off placing orders for as long as possible.
UK manufactured ammonium nitrate has already firmed from earlier discounted levels, with August deliveries available at £230-£235/t on farm for full loads on normal 28-day payment terms.
The new season opening price drop was good enough to tempt some traditional early committers but buying is now hand to mouth.
|Fertiliser update – August 2015 (£/t delivered)*|
|UK 34.5% N||Granular urea (46% N)||Imported AN|
|£230-£235||£234-£245 (Oct-Dec)||£217- £225|
|Potash (MOP)||Phosphate (DAP)||Phosphate (TSP)|
*All illustrated prices are based on full loads for cash payment month following, except where otherwise stated.
Traders estimate that the volume booked by farmers is about 10% behind the level at the same stage of the season last year and say that prices are likely to firm as interest increases in autumn.
“The underlying grain price is not helping confidence and people have not finalised their cropping plans,” said Frontier Agriculture’s fertiliser manager Chris Tye.
He said that nitrogen prices were firming in continental European markets including France and Germany as orders picked up through the large co-operatives there.
The international urea market was quiet, said Calum Findlay at Gleadell Agriculture.
Although some spot business is there to be done, quotes are mainly for October to December deliveries, when availability is expected to be high.
“Urea is currently on offer on open origin basis. While prices are below replacement values and may look attractive, check guarantees of origin,” advised Mr Findlay.
Currency and availability from North Africa would be big influences on the path of urea prices, said Mr Tye.