Aggressive nitrogen pricing in fertiliser market


FURTHER details of strategic change within the fertiliser industry have yet to emerge, so its business as usual in the market place. “Usual” continues to mean little activity and little change in price.

December and January are short months for delivering fertiliser and in February at least some application will occur, so confidence is beginning to emerge that movement will start soon.

The trade is now keen to create interest in fertiliser and wants business to happen, so is still pricing nitrogen aggressively.

The Hydro price for Extran is currently pitched to place it on farm at £90/tonne delivered, according to their spokesman, assuming merchants take a reasonable margin.

The reality is that full loads of nitrogen are being quoted at £87 up to Christmas, and £90/tonne thereafter.

Like everyone else, Hydro has a full inventory of ammonium nitrate, but NPK production is yet to get into full swing. Immingham is currently shut down for planned maintenance so the stockpile is not being increased.

Doug Shaw of Hydro is confident that movement will start soon and that the price will hold up. Despite ample supplies he has reservations concerning the ability of the industry to deliver if everyone leaves purchase to the last minute.

Although fertiliser people have used this argument virtually every spring and are usually accused of crying wolf, the situation has genuinely been very close to breakdown in the last two years with farmers getting their just-in -time purchases by the skin of their teeth.

On 1 January a new regulation comes into force compelling hauliers and handlers of high nitrogen fertiliser to employ or consult certificated safety advisors. The transport of dangerous goods (safety advisors) regulations 1999 fortunately does not include farmers when loading material for their own use.

This will put an additional cost on to haulage rates and reduce the number of hauliers legally available to manage the spring rush. With the market being some 20% behind previous years and plantings of cereals increased, spring demand will be great.

Increasingly therefore, the message is to think about buying nitrogen sooner rather than later.

Hydro has also entered the NPK market, with 20.10.10 and 29.5.5. pitched around£110 on-farm for immediate delivery and payment in April. The price will increase by £5 for spring delivery. Blenders are not yet active.

CURRENT MARKETS

























Immediate delivery N
(no market)

December delivery N

January/February delivery N

Imported urea

Imported N deliver December

Imported 0.26.26

Domestic 0.24.24 blended
Liquid N, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t

£87

£88

£90

£90-92 granular/
&prilled – no market

£75-78

£None available

£110-114

£95/100,000 litres or £76/t



















NPK

Pre-Christmas, pay April

January/February, pay April

Complex 25.5.5

97

100

15.15.20

127

130

20.10.10/29.5.5

110

115

17.17.17

130

133













N/S (High S)

N/S (Low S)

TSP (47% P2O5)

Muriate of Potash (60% K2O)

87

87

125

120


 

IRELAND

No urea market at present
















 
Imported CAN

CAN


0.23.24


0.16.36


Complex compounds


Northern Ireland

Prices withdrawn

No market

132

132

No market













 

CAN


0.10.20


0.7.30


Republic of Ireland*

No market

140

140


*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK..

*Prices in the Republic are IR£

 

Note All illustrated prices are based upon 20 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

Source: Bridgewater Associates

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