Input prices still climbing

Fuel and fertiliser prices climbed in January, in response to higher oil and gas prices during the cold snap.

Data from around 200 farmers who took part in the Farmers Weekly/NFU Inputs Price Monitor last month show that the price of red diesel climbed by about 2p/litre, although there is a wide range according to region and volume.

For example, farmers buying up to 5000l in the south east of England paid 45.7p/litre on average, while producers in the north west paid 49.2p/litre. Nationally, the average price of red diesel for 2000-5000 litre deliveries was 47.56p/litre.

“As with white diesel, which was actually 2p/litre down on December at 98.8p/litre, the time of purchase in the month may have also played a part with peaks reported in the middle of January for all grades of fuel as the cold weather had a knock-on effect,” said NFU chief inputs adviser Pete Garbutt.

Fertiliser was also more costly last month, with the national average price for ammonium nitrate increasing by approximately £7/t since December, with buyers in East Anglia reporting the best deals.

“As expected, the average prices for different order sizes show that, despite a wide range, larger orders will command more competitive prices,” said Mr Garbutt. For example, the national average for loads of under 20t came to £203/t. But for orders over 50t, the average price was just £182/t.

Most chemicals have shown a fall in price on previously reported figures, but glyphosate and metazochlor bucked the trend – rising by 8p/litre and £6/pack respectively. “Glyphosate prices ranged from £2.10/litre to £6/litre, suggesting that a range of formulations were purchased, but that good deals for the product are still out there,” said Mr Garbutt.

On the animal feed side, national average price data put 16% lamb creep at an average £190/t, with 18% dairy rations at £176/t.

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