Fuel prices continue rise across the country and the trend could last well into the summer, according to the latest Farmers Weekly/NFU Inputs Price Monitor.
Red diesel prices averaged just over 50p/litre last month, up from nearer 47p/litre in the February survey. White diesel and kerosene also increased, up to averages of 103p/litre and 44p/litre, respectively, in March.
Rising oil prices coupled with a weaker pound were the main reasons for the increase, NFU transport and inputs adviser Peter Garbutt explained.
“Indications are that this trend could continue into the summer, and the start of April has seen further rises in red diesel prices. The rising fuel price is fast becoming a key election issue for rural communities and, with a duty increase in April and more increases tabled for October and January, voters are questioning parliamentary candidates closely on what they aim to do to relieve the burden.”
Propane prices exhibited similar rises to other fuels, while electricity was also a little more expensive in March than in February.
Fertiliser prices also continued their upward trend, with UK-produced ammonium nitrate averaging almost £230/t in March, up £15/t from February. However, there are signs that prices could stabilise, Mr Garbutt said.
“Natural gas prices are falling and there are reports that the urea market is stabilising. French AN prices have increased, although still remain behind the IPM average for March. Next month will tell if these factors will filter through to the domestic AN market.”
• Click here to see the full Input Price Monitor results for these inputs, other chemicals and animal feed.
• As ever, enough farmers must take part in the IPM survey each month to guarantee the quality of the data. So if you’ve not done so already, please click on the following link and take part in the April survey.