Nitrogen price drop shocks market

A sharp drop in UK manufactured ammonium nitrate (AN) prices puts product on to farm at £243-245/t delivered for October and in some cases into November.


The move has angered some who booked product in mid summer to get a price in the mid-£260s/t delivered.


A stronger US dollar is making imported product more expensive in relative terms; imported ammonium nitrate in the form of Lithan is priced about £12/t lower than UK 34.5% nitrogen ammonium nitrate.


Urea prices have been unaffected by the drop in ammonium nitrate prices; granular urea remains readily available and good value on a pence per kilo basis, even allowing for some volatilisation losses, say advisers.
























FERTILISER UPDATE OCTOBER 2013 (£/t delivered)*


UK 34.5% N


Granular urea (46% N)


Imported AN Lithuanian


£243-248


£260-266


£230-235


Potash (muriate)


Phosphate (DAP)


Phosphate (TSP)


£260-265


£350-355


£255-256


*All illustrated prices are based on 24t loads for cash payment month following. Prices for smaller loads and 50kg bags will vary considerably



The falling AN market has made growers reluctant to order, with traders estimating that less than 50% of the volume needed has been booked and that orders are about 20% down on where they would normally be at this point in the season.


Suppliers continue to warn that those waiting until the new year to order could be faced with a longer wait than they want as haulage availability may be tight.


January tax bills and low-volume grain sales are additional factors in growers’ reluctance to commit to orders.


The P & K market is stable to weak with plenty of product available.


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