By Roger Chesher
THE stale market is having an effect on imports, with few merchants prepared to take the risk and book cargoes.
Existing stocks of imported nitrogen are slowly finding their way on to farm around 120-122/t, compared with anticipated new stocks at 125/t and domestic product at 134/t.
Movements have picked up a little this week, but mainly in the arable sector for nitrogen top-dressing.
Normally, the market would be flat out with deliveries, but the grassland sector is still very slow.
This would still seem to be a factor of just-in-time mentality combined with waterlogging.
In Northumberland, for example, where spreading conditions are better, fertiliser is selling. Further south, in the wet, it is not.
A more pragmatic approach to the foot-and-mouth crisis is emerging with the realisation that the overwhelming percentage of animals not affected must be fed, and grass is the cheapest form of food.
But no one is prepared to buy until application, and it is still too wet for that.
According to price lists, we should see a hike in nitrogen to 134/t this week, but order books are held over to allow some respite for farmers unable to take delivery.
There is inevitable speculation as to whether we will now see a final rise before the new-season prices in July, but irrespective of that, a fall seems highly unlikely.
We are now at the period when farmers must buy fertiliser irrespective of price if they are to use it, and the only question remaining is how much of the market remains.
Common sense says theres still a lot to be purchased.
If that is not the case then there could be even more rationalisation to come in both the fertiliser industry and the merchant trade.
New-season nitrogen (SP5) 34.5%
Anticipated spring price nitrogen
Imported urea (if available)
Imported AN (new season)
Blended 20.10.10 and 25.0.16
|Liquid nitrogen, 37kg/100l or 29.6% N/t|
March, pay cash
April, pay cash (forecast)
After-cut NK cash
TSP (47% P2O5) bagged
Muriate of Potash (60% K2O) bagged
IRELAND CAN 24.6.12 0.16.36 Complex compounds
Domestic prilled 150
Republic of Ireland*
*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 on 20-tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.
Source: Bridgewater Partnership